Breaking-Fire Island’s Largest Resort & Hotel Gets A New Owner

The legendary Ice Palace Resort on New York’s Fire Island is known to have hosted everyone from Judy Garland to Lady Gaga to Lynda Carter, has had queens like Logan Hardcore and Brenda Darling serving legendary poolside shows, and since the 1950’s, been one of the premier East Coast destinations for the LGBTQ community during the summer season and beyond. Now it appears that summer is Cherry Grove could very possibly, look distinctly different; according to New York Business Journals, Bowline Hospitality Group (a Key West, Florida-based hospitality focused private equity firm), has purchased the Ice Palace resort for $7.2 million dollars. 

Photo Courtesy-GroveHotel.com

The purchase of Ice Palace resort includes the Grove Hotel, which is Fire Island’s largest hotel. which consists of 63 rooms. The purchase also includes the Ice Palace nightclubs, which has hosted the Miss Fire Island pageants since the 1950’s (crowning notable names like Honey Davenport, Rita GeorgeFifi Dubois, and Charity ) with winners from the 1960’s still attending to this day! Ice Palace was just showcased prominently in the summer romantic comedy Fire Island, starring Bowen Yang, Joel Kim-Booster and Matt Rogers, among others. 

Photo Courtesy-GroveHotel.com

The Grove Hotel holds a rich, vibrant and storied history for the LGBTQ community. . It originally dates back to 1885 when it was known as Perkinson’s Hotel, later changing to Duffy’s. The Cherry Grove Hotel replaced it in 1958. A fire practically gutted the property in 2015, and the former owner rebuilt the hotel at that time, aptly renaming the hotel The Grove. While Fire Island residents and visitors are already expressing concerns about what this purchase means for such a crucial part of so many of our LGBTQ Fire Island memories, Bowline Hospitality Group, which owns and operates boutique hotels in Key West, St. Thomas, and Marathon, Florida) are already planning renovations and upgrades for the off season.

As a matter of fact, Mitch Muroff of Muroff Hospitality Group (who represented the seller and secured the buyer) sees the sale as a strategic move for Bowline Hospitality.  “This would be an enormous opportunity for them as they have successfully run boutique hotels around the world and they’ll now have the chance to do the same with a unique slice of Fire Island history” Muroff said.

Comment was requested from Bowline Hospitality Group & not returned as of press time

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4 thoughts on “Breaking-Fire Island’s Largest Resort & Hotel Gets A New Owner”

  1. Cherry Grove has changed so much since the 1970’s. After the generation of gay men succumbed to government inaction, I mean AIDS, the place just went downhill. There are so many hetero couples there now and it’s still a fun place but the energy of it is so severely changed. Oh well. I hope this new owner of the hotel remains true to the history of Cherry Grove.

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  2. I didn’t realize the Ice Palace has been a staple since the mid 50’s. So many gay men have partied and mingled there, how very awesome.

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  3. Well, this is quite newsworthy and could be good for the community or might change the face of history. Although the hotel was rebuilt after the devastating fire of 2015, the Ice Palace is still a historic building where I won Miss Fire Island in September of 1967. As the oldest living winner, I would not want the new owners to destroy any of its histories. Memories are made of this.
    It will be interesting to see what will come of this new acquisition. Time will tell.

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