Fire Island’s largest hotel and resort sold for $7.2 million

By Leonard A. Robinson –  Staff Reporter, New York Business Journal

Jul 13, 2022

Bowline Hospitality Group, a Key West, Florida-based hospitality focused private equity firm, has purchased Fire Island’s Ice Palace resort for $7.2 million. 

The purchase includes the Grove Hotel, Fire Island’s largest hotel boasting 63 rooms along with the Ice Palace night club, a popular LGBT nightclub that has hosted Judy Garland, Liza Minelli and Lady Gaga along with the Miss Fire Island contest since opening its doors in the 1950s. 

Ice Palace Resort, situated at 1 Ocean Walk in Cherry Grove, New York, is a short distance from the Cherry Grove dock. Fire Island is only accessible by ferry from Bay Shore, Sayville or Patchogue, all of which are on Long Island. 

Mitch Muroff of Muroff Hospitality Group represented the seller, a veterinarian, and secured Bowline Hospitality Group as the buyer.

First National Bank of Long Island was the lender. 

The Grove Hotel dates back to 1885 as Perkinson’s Hotel and later Duffy’s. It was replaced by the Cherry Grove Hotel in 1958. In 2018, after 11 years of ownership, the former owner rebuilt the hotel, naming it The Grove after a fire destroyed much of the property. 

Cherry Grove, in 1885 and since then, was among the three most popular destinations for LGBT travelers alongside Key West, Florida, and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Bowline Hospitality Group, which owns and operates boutique hotels in Key West, St. Thomas, and Marathon, Florida, is planning renovations and upgrades for the off season. 

The recent sale, Muroff says, is strategic for Bowline Hospitality as current zoning would prevent a similar size hotel from being constructed.

“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.

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