Scene & Heard
The in-crowd’s new hangout in downtown Fort Myers? The town’s only rooftop hotel pool and bar at Hotel Indigo. Gulfshore Business 40 Under 40 honoree Phil Hugh opened the chic boutique hotel in February and is already bringing a South Beach feel to the River District. Sip your cocktail and glory in the view of the city skyline and riverfront. Shimmering pool, yes. But it’s definitely not about bathing suits here.
WATCH SAKS GO
Look to saks fifth avenue for a lot of the action these days in both Collier and Lee counties. More than 300 fashionistas turned out in early April to see hot designer Tory Burch at Saks at Waterside Shops in Naples. Her collection’s a good fit for the local crowd—with her bold prints, bright colors and signature tunics. She charmed her fans during a three-hour visit to benefit the Children’s Museum of Naples. Tory, Tory, Hallelujah! Up north at the Saks in Bell Tower Shops, the store’s general manager, Carole Stockard, hosted a charity luncheon for the Edison & Ford Estates in late March. Bacchus Chef Shannon Yates served up a delicious lunch in the St. John section of the store, while models showcased the company’s new line. Just imagine vanilla flan served up with evening gowns by Kelly Gray. Great taste
GREAT LOUNGE SHOW
If you want cool, you should have joined in for the first annual Chillounge Night in April in downtown Fort Myers. What a fresh idea. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center never seemed more luminous as it did that night as First Street was transformed into a magnificent lounge, complete with outdoor furniture and chic beds. Local restaurants kicked in with food and cocktails, and the entertainment included the beat of a samba parade. Definitely great fun and enterprise, with official party planner Kimberly Becker showing the way. Said Art Center Director Jim Griffith, “This is the best party I’ve ever been to.” I’ll second that action on First.
You know you’re going to get something creative when you show up for a party thrown by Bob Cacioppo and the Florida Repertory Theatre. Jane Lane, one of the theater’s most devoted supporters, put on quite a blast in late March. The theme was the Art of Bond (James Bond, that is) and the imaginative costumes—boundless. Gold-painted Bond girls, bloodied villains, tuxedoed heroes, fire-eating acrobats and scantily clad go-go girls livened things up in this fundraiser for the theater. The Bonding was terrific in all respects.
JOY TO BEHOLD
I attended an opening stimulating to both the eyes and the heart. Fort Myers artist Joy Williams presented her dazzling works in early April at Space 39 Gallery to a huge and enthusiastic crowd of friends and supporters. She was just aglow as she arrived on the arm of fiancé Courtney Jones, one of the original findwhat.com/MIVA whiz kids. The artist has been through difficult times since her mother was tragically killed by an alligator on Sanibel Island three years ago. Somehow she’s managed to express that pain through her amazing digital paintings. What a Joy to see her beaming today and celebrated for her work. Hats off to the adorable gallery and its owner, Terry Tincher, for so often featuring the works of local artists. The Williams show was part of ArtWalk, held the first Friday of every month, that’s drawing some pretty good crowds to the downtown River District.
Good for chico’s for staying active in the charity game. To celebrate the late March reopening of its White House/Black Market store on Fifth Avenue South in Naples, the company’s event was a benefit in support the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County. The store had been a mainstay in Naples for 16 years before being destroyed by Hurricane Wilma. Said President Donna Noce, “We felt there was no better way to celebrate its grand reopening than by hosting an event to benefit the Naples community.”
RUNNING FOR OFFICE?
I’m hearing that former chico’s executive Cole Peacock, a long-time fixture on the political scene, is thinking about running for office. Maybe for the Lee County Commission? Would it be wise for this very connected man to do so on the Democratic ticket? Will lobbyist and former state lawmaker Carole Green also make a run for the Commission? Stay tuned.