Tuesday, March 5, 2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact: Jamie Krauss
The Narrative Group 646-435-9810
(Fire Island Pines, NY – March 5, 2013) -- This year Fire Island Pines, the world’s premier gay
summer mecca, which draws visitors from around the globe with its gorgeous beaches and bustling social
scene founded on freedom of expression, celebrates its 60th anniversary. The Pines, located just fifty
miles from New York City, long ago proved to be the most accessible - and liberating - gay vacation
destination in the country.
FIP Ventures, the group that owns the majority of The Pines’ commercial properties including the
Pavilion Nightclub, restaurants Blue Whale and Canteen, the Botel, Pines Pool Deck and several retail
spaces, enters this historic season with new leadership and vision. Blesso Properties, led by founder
Matthew Blesso, will serve as the managing owner. Known for creating and executing visionary concepts
(including the Tantalo Hotel, the number one boutique hotel and nightlife space in Panama City), Blesso
will embark on a deep, comprehensive process of reinvigorating the Pines Commercial District, including
the addition of visual and performance art that will enhance the uniqueness of Fire Island Pines as a social
and cultural destination. “Extreme attention to detail is what creates a work of art and that’s our mantra
for all of our projects” says Blesso. “It will not be one big move that will reinvent the Pines but hundreds of
little ones.”
The crown jewel of the 2013 season will be the rebuilt Pavilion Nightclub, slated to open in early
spring. Following the devastating fire in November 2011, Blesso Properties tapped acclaimed design firm
Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) Architects to design an iconic new structure from scratch. The new, two-story
showplace will be a stark improvement from the previous building, both aesthetically and functionally.
The famous - and infamous - Pavilion Nightclub and High Tea Deck terrace will occupy the second floor,
presenting party-goers with dazzling views of the harbor, while the gym, retail spaces, and the new
Welcome Bar, will be on the first floor.
The nightclub will be furnished with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, a retractable
skylight over the dance floor, and a contemporary reinvention of a chandelier, an homage to the iconic
centerpiece that adorned the original Pavilion. With expansive decks, seating areas and the Welcome Bar,
the Pavilion is designed with social gatherings in mind. Just steps from the ferry dock, it provides a
central meeting point, and creates a strong sense of community for new visitors and veteran island
dwellers alike.
FIP Ventures is thrilled to introduce its new management team, led by General Manager
Constantino Papadakis. Papadakis is launching “Rebirth,” an initiative that aims to improve the guest
experience at every level, including updates to the properties’ infrastructure, hiring of culinary
professionals to reinvigorate the restaurants, and a host of new programming and entertainment
throughout the season. Tony Fornabaio joins Papadakis as the FIP Venture’s Entertainment Director.
Fornabaio has long been one of the most prominent figures in gay nightlife, with integral roles in Sound
Factory, The Limelight, The Roxy, Studio 54, the Palladium, and XL nightclub. He will curate an array of
top DJs and performers to deliver a reimagined “Pines sound” that pays homage to the island’s inherent
sexy, sultry sonic identity - a special brand of beachy house and Nuevo disco - while staying contemporary
and relevant with tribal and circuit beats. Ryan DeJong, Hospitality Director, will focus on providing new
ways to make the island and its resources accessible and convenient for both the established FIP
community and new visitors from around the world, including “Pinesbooker,” a web platform similar to
AirBNB, and the “Pines Survival Guide,” a website aimed at helping vacationers navigate the unique insand-
outs of daily life in the Pines.
FIP Ventures continues to work hand-in-hand with the homeowner community through its
collaboration with the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA.) “FIP Ventures has an
excellent record of working with the community to resolve issues,” says Jay Pagano, FIPPOA President.
“They are always responsive to the concerns presented by residents and eager to develop solutions … we
very much appreciate and value FIP Ventures as an important partner with the Island.”
For more information visit www.pinesfi.com
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