Gay Hotelier Ian Reisner Continues To Defend Ted Cruz Party As Fire Island Kicks Off Summer Season
Days after the Fire Island season kicked off -- where Ian Reisner owns roughly 80 percent of the Fire Island Pines commercial district -- the embattled hotelier continued to defend the reception for virulently anti-gay presidential hopeful Ted Cruz that he hosted alongside his former boyfriend and current business partner, Mati Weiderpass.
“I’m not going to use arrogant words, but I think our level of prominence in the gay community and our proven track record and success, we’re the ideal people to sit with our harshest critics,” Reisner told the New York Times. “It’s being labeled as a crime, but I think what we did was ultimately very good.”
The boycott of Reisner's Fire Island properties that was launched in reaction to his Cruz reception seems to have fizzled out alongside the arrival of the summer heat, however.
This Memorial Day weekend, by the look of the Pines during peak social hours—what is referred to as “Tea” at various establishments under Reisner’s investment umbrella: The Blue Whale (Low Tea), Pavillion Night Club (Middle Tea) and Sip ‘n’ Twirl (High Tea)—mostly no one seemed to care, or even know, about the boycott.
“It’s been business as usual,” McAteer told The Daily Beast. “Our hands have been full opening up all the venues and, as you’ve seen, cleaning up and reprograming; trying to do things a little different and better than they’ve done in previous years,” adding that they will be opening a gym and spa in the coming month.
Other business owners in the area agreed.
“We were curious, but we weren’t sure what was going to happen,” Eric Chrader, the co-owner of Pines Pantry, the area’s only food market, told The Daily Beast. His building sits adjacent to Reisner and McAteer’s. It was “just another Memorial Day weekend.”
Also discussed in the new interview was the tragic death of a 22-year-old Hell's Kitchen bartender, found dead of an overdose in the bathtub of Reisner's Columbus Circle penthouse. “I am an extremely generous host to thousands of people. And with that openness comes risk that somebody might get harmed.”
What do you think of Reisner's latest statements?