IT’S JULY 4TH – WHO’S HOSTING THE BEST HAMPTONS PARTIES?

AN INSIDE LOOK AT HAMPTONS FESTIVITIES FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND

 

By Lieba Nesis

Much has been made of the cooling off of the Hamptons vacation market-but all indications point to a busier than ever weekend this July 4th. At the end of May, The Real Deal and CNBC breathlessly reported about the 30% reduction in Hampton rental prices as Douglas Elliman’s Enzo Morabito exclaimed, “there is a tremendous amount of inventory and people are not renting it… from the very low to the very top of the market.”  And yes, Bloomberg said sales of $10 million homes have plummeted from 74 in 2019 to a paltry 32 this year-however, they acknowledged the sluggish market was largely due to lower supply. The market may have slowed compared to the two years of Covid where a gut wrenching pandemic left New Yorkers desperately scrambling to the Hamptons without the option of traveling to a closed off Europe; However, having vacationed in the Hamptons for the past ten years, the trends I am seeing this summer are indicative of a full blown explosion of foreigners, locals and New Yorkers inhabiting the Hamptons in record numbers.

HEADING OUT EAST, WHERE TO STAY?

Firstly, the hotels which are normally vacant three or four weekends of the summer, are currently booked until mid-September even into October. I casually walked into the 1708 House in Southampton, and they said their next weekend availability was Columbus Day, October 15th, ditto with the Southampton Inn which is full for the entirety of weekends from June-August. The rental vacancies can be explained by people’s aversion to paying for an entire month if they are heading to Europe for two weeks, however the hotel market is hotter than ever. Moreover, the dozens of weddings and parties taking place has left hotels such as the Southampton Village Motel, the East Hampton House, and the Southampton Inn completely booked.

Weddings and parties are taking place out East like we haven’t seen in years. Florists and party designers are crazy busy and the buzz is non-stop.
Hopefully you’ll be enjoying the gracious hospitality of friends and family as hotel rooms are long gone. Photo Courtesy: East Hampton Gardens

The convenience of the Hamptons being a mere two hours from New York City makes it an irresistible choice for those seeking refuge from a muggy Manhattan. Now that everyone – or at least anyone who can – is working from home, traffic out East of city folk looking for a haven has drastically increased. The Jitney bus which costs $44 from New York to the Hamptons is similarly sold out for every time slot, nearly every weekend. Restaurant reservations at hotspots such as Bilboquet and Tutto Il Giorno have become a near impossibility to obtain. The past three weekends the Southampton Social Club has endured lines down the block and has had to close its doors due to overcapacity – formerly unheard of during the month of June. If you are looking to book a last-minute reservation to the Hamptons for July 4th weekend – good luck! Unless you are willing to stay on the highway, every decent hotel is occupied except The Maidstone Inn in East Hampton where one room is left at an exorbitant $7,000 for three nights.

Reservations at Le Bilbouquet in Sag Harbor are nearly impossible to obtain even though the season has only just begun. Photo courtesy Le Bilbouquet

The Maidstone, East Hampton’s chic boutique hotel, where rooms are in scarce supply. One however is left at $7,000 for three nights. Photo courtesy The Maidstone, East Hampton

 BILLIONAIRE BEHAVIOR

The Hamptons is replete with dozens of billionaires – this past week alone we learned one wealthy inhabitant purchased the privately-owned Montauk Airport to the chagrin of East Hampton inhabitants who are concerned over increased noise and environmental issues. I have never heard of a 3,200-landing strip with one small hangar and office being offered for $18 million but all bets are off in this wealthy enclave. The best part of the Hamptons is the off-the-chart parties, and this weekend will be unparalleled. The festivities started earlier than ever with The American Heart Association hosting a sunset social reception at the Wölffer Estates in Sagaponack on June 29th, tickets for this general cocktail reception started at $500. Friday night, billionaire Andrew Farkas will be hosting his annual party at an undisclosed location as friends furtively discuss the upcoming shindig. My guess is it will take place at The Montauk Yacht Club  – after all, he owns it.

Is the Montauk Yacht Club the likely venue for the Andrew Farkas annual party? After all, he owns it. Photo Courtesy Gurney’s Resorts

Montauk Airport was just sold for $18 Million. Will we be seeing a massive influx of private jet travelers this far East?
All bets are off. Photo Courtesy Blade East Hampton

Saturday July 2nd will be the biggest night of the entire summer. Real Estate developers and Bridgehampton residents Maria and Ken Fishel will entertain hundreds at their black tie red-white-and-blue themed gala with party planner to the stars Preston Bailey quarterbacking the festivities. Billionaire Fanatics mogul Michael Rubin will be hosting his annual white party at his $50 million Bridgehampton estate where Robert Kraft, DJ Khaled, The Chainsmokers, Meek Mill, Charlie D’Amelio, Alex Rodriguez, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Puff Daddy and dozens of other luminaries are expected. The Fishel invite is so coveted that a black market has popped up since it is just about impossible to snag.

 POLITICANS ON PARADE

July 2nd wouldn’t be complete without Washington Post heiress Lally Weymouth’s party which is held at her estate in Southampton. Undoubtedly a smattering of politicians from every side of the aisle will attend. Keep an eye out for Don Trump Jr., Chuck Schumer, Ray and Veronica Kelly, Carl Icahn, Kellyanne Conway, Chris Ruddy and even Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin may show. If Rudy Giuliani is in attendance let’s hope Eric Adams stays away. Same goes for anyone else desirous of slapping the former mayor. I am nearly certain party-hopper Eric Adams will make his way to the Hamptons this weekend to hobnob with the uber-wealthy.

MONTAUK BOUND

For those “plebeians” who are not invited to the hottest of hot parties, July 4th Montauk will be hosting fireworks by Grucci at Umbrella Beach beginning at 9:00 p.m. Afterwards head to Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett to watch The Revivalists. The performance by this American Rock Band on the 4th benefits USA Warrior Stories, a non-profit group that helps veterans share their stories. Listen to this terrific live music while you revive yourself with chilled libations as a long holiday weekend comes to a close.

Stars Over Montauk the Grucci fireworks show begins at 9:00 p.m. at Umbrella Beach in Montauk.
They’re always spectacular so look up in the sky for a show that’s not to be missed  Photo Courtesy: Heiko Stein/Pixabay

After the fireworks, head on over to Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. You’ll find The Revivalists playing their signature blend of rock, folk, fun, and soul.
They are a philanthropically minded group, this performance benefits USA Warrior Stories. Photo courtesy: The Revivalists