Former Ziegfeld girl Peggy Fears was urged by the Home Guardian Company of NY to build fast in order to lure potential buyers to the community. The Yacht club was built first then the Botel.
The Botel was named by Peggy’s companion Teddi Thurman.
1959, Memorial day weekend a fire burns both buildings to the ground.
Peggy hires the Reynolds Aluminum Company from Kentucky to help rebuild. A deal is struck and the club is built and open by Fourth of July. The charred trees remain around it.
1960. The new Fire proof Botel is built. Made of cinder block it is designed to last.
1962. Peggy Fears sells to model John Whyte and partners. The partners are soon bought out leaving John to manage and run the properties. He continues the standard of attracting high profile personalities.
1960’s. Botel guests include celebrities.
Richard Burton Hedy LaMarr
1990’s Fashion Designer Jean Paul Gaultier.
1970. The pool is added to the Botel complex.
1975. Owner John Whyte at the Botel. 1980. Check in.
The expectations of the general public was not what it is today. A cinder block room was an acceptable accommodation especially on Fire Island. The iconic blue and red canvas accents always matched the nearby Blue Whale. The pool became a centerpiece of the many Fashion Shows held in the Pines.
The fashion shows brought out the who’s who of the celebrity fashion world including porn stars like Gene Gordon above. Below model Pat Cleveland and Madam.
In the 90’s owner John Whyte changes up the color combination with what he saw as the raging colors in Europe.
In 2006 John Whyte sold his commercial properties to Eric Von Kuersteiner. He made many changes to the properties including renaming the hotel. Now Hotel Ciel with some minor cosmetic changes it stayed that way until under new ownership again in 2012 it’s name was brought back with a new logo.
In 2013 it was someones idea to give the botel a Keith Haring knock-off outside motif. This lasted a weekend, and was painted over immediately.
2015. With another purchase, and plans to redo the structure the hotel was leased to the the Sharegurl organization. Minor renovations were done with great results giving young newcomers an affordable place to experience the Pines.
Now being run once again by the Pines FI organization as just “The Hotel” it will always be known as “The Botel.”