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Aug 4, 2011 3:27 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Gilt City East Hampton House Party Is Off

Aug 9, 2011 4:04 PM

The party’s off at “Hamptons House,” an almost monthlong series of events that Gilt City planned to stage at a private home on Fithian Lane in East Hampton Village. Poolside cocktails, yoga and fitness sessions, cooking classes, dinners and brunches, film screenings and trunk shows were among the happenings lined up.

“We worked in collaboration with the village to resolve this situation,” Jaime David, Gilt City’s senior manager for public relations and events, said Tuesday afternoon. “The private events are not going to be cancelled but will be taking place elsewhere.”

“They have advised us in writing that they have abandoned all plans to host any events at the house,” Larry Cantwell, the East Hampton Village administrator, said Tuesday after some last-minute saber-rattling between the village and Gilt City.

The Village Board voted last Thursday to hire a lawyer to seek an injunction in State Supreme Court against Gilt City Inc. While an injunction was never filed, Gilt City’s attorney, Scott Schneider, and East Hampton Village attorney Linda Riley were still discussing the matter Monday and Tuesday.

“The Gilt City program, to be hosted by two top Gilt executives, features top chefs, fitness and fashion to entertain small groups in the Hamptons and also provides financial support for the East Hampton Food Pantry,” a statement from Gilt City said late last week.

“We worked with the authorities in the Hamptons and have gone through the proper channels to obtain the proper permitting needed,” it continued.

“We authorized special counsel and the clock was ticking,” East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. countered on Tuesday.

“We are continuing to work things out,” Ms. David said repeatedly on Tuesday.

“The village feels happy with the confirmation from counsel for Gilt City that they are abandoning plans to host any special events at the property indicated on Fithian Lane,” Mayor Rickenbach said Tuesday.

Gilt City is affiliated with Gilt Groupe, an online retailer whose products have been described as appealing to “luxury-obsessed bargain hunters.” Gilt City stages “exclusive happenings” at “secret places,” according to its website, which last week listed a raft of activities, many of them already sold out, at what it called “Hamptons House” between August 12 and September 5. Tickets were being sold online to the events, which had sponsors like the Food Network Magazine, Exhale Spa, Hamptons Magazine and Amstel Light. Prices ranged from about $25 to $1,500.

By Friday afternoon, Hamptons House had disappeared from the website.

The house, at 36 Fithian Lane in East Hampton Village, is owned by Walter Patrick, who could not be reached for comment.

“The board is concerned about defending residential zoning,” Mr. Cantwell said on August 3. “It became apparent that this was an everyday, continuous commercial activity use.”

“The folks at Gilt City came to see me several weeks ago and talked to me about the things that they were planning to do. I advised them that they probably made a mistake … renting a single-family house,” he said. When the village started receiving numerous assembly permit applications, he said, it looked further on Gilt City’s website, where the full calendar of events, ticket prices, and corporate sponsors is listed.

“I feel, on behalf of the village, that we’ve been vindicated,” Mayor Rickenbach said on Tuesday.

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Good job Larry!
By fritzdaddy (35), southampton on Aug 7, 11 11:25 AM
So who is named in the lawsuit - Walter Patrick,
Gilt City, or both? Come on Press publisher/editors. . . you can do it!!! Just a LITTLE more . . . and was the East Hampton Food Pantry aware of this . . . what do they have to say about it? It may be "Good job Larry" - for obvious reasons ... but it looks to me like it's "Bad Job Press" for not digging or going beyond the obvious . . . just sayin.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Aug 7, 11 8:59 PM
sometimes there's an advantage to having cranky old men running the village.. but just sometimes.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Aug 9, 11 5:20 PM
I guess this means everyone should cancel their Tupperware parties now.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Aug 9, 11 7:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
Who is the realtor involved? Didnt the people at Gilt tell them what they wanted to do? Somehow I dont think that they snuck in. These event houses ruin it for the surrounding neighbors all for profit. Wheather its a share house or a corporate house, it comes at the expense of the neighbors. Good going EHV other towns need the same fast action.

By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Aug 10, 11 6:09 AM