There is a New King (Queen?) on Fire Island – Seth Jordan Weissman

Gossip is already flying about Fire Island, the getaway for New York’s A-list gays. Long-time monopolizer Eric von Kuersteiner — who owns practically everything in the community – is selling all his properties to a mysterious 23/24-year-old gay kid. Public records lists his age as 26, but sometimes these things are wrong.

NEXT Magazine broke the story first, that Von Kuersteiner and his business partner Tony Roncalliwhose empire includes two bars, a restaurant, a dance club, a small gym, a grocery store, a clothing store, a construction business, a freight business, the community’s dock, and the only hotel in town—has sold most of their properties to Seth Weissman, a young kid who no one knows anything about other than that he is from a rich family and is connected to the Hamptons and that he is an analyst at hedge fund Perry Capital who lives in Gramercy Park.

The deal—which is set to close next week—is reportedly $18 million for everything but the dock and freight companies.

GAWKER reportsVon Kuersteiner and Roncalli rescued the small resort five years ago since it had fallen into disrepair, but their business practices—especially von Kuersteiner’s, always the more public of the two—were often called into question. Since the town is so small and they were one of only three business owners, they often exercised their monopoly. They opened a grocery store to compete with the only other place to buy food—a small, family-owned store that had been there for decades. They had an acrimonious relationship with many of the local home owners and other business because they controlled the dock which means they controlled access to the island. Anything they asked for—or more often, demanded—they got.

Von Kuersteiner and Co especially had hard feelings for the neighboring gay community, Cherry Grove, and used their dock access to stop boats from taking visitors from one village to the next, and for anyone who has drunkenly stumbled through the Meat Rack—the dense forest between the two towns—at 3am, not having a boat to bring you to and fro is more than enough to keep you partying closer to your summer share and putting cash into Von Kuersteiner and Roncalli’s pockets. They also reportedly demanded that the army of young pretty boys they hired to staff all their properties were forbidden from hanging out in the Grove, even on their nights off.

Rumors are flying left and right he’s changing everything, he’s not changing a thing, this is great, this is horrible, blah, blah, blah, talk amongst yourselves. The summer season is still a few months  away!


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