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Happy Tuesday! We hope you enjoyed the long Labor Day weekend.

There's been a lot of talk about the proposed hotel in Wilton Manors, so The Gazette sat down with developer Mark Ellert to talk about the project. Scroll for the interview and let us know what you think.

In the arts, gay icon Bruce Vilanch is making his way to the Wilton Manors theatre scene! He'll also be hosting a pool party, so RSVP while you can.

-- Christiana Lilly, Editor


The Gazette Interviews Proposed Wilton Manors Hotel Developer Mark Ellert

By Aaron Kinchen

Rendering courtesy of Wilton Manors Hotel and Pool Club; Ellert headshot via LinkedIn.

Wilton Manors is getting its first hotel and the developer has a career spanning four decades, numerous booms-and-busts, and is still very much in the game. The hotel’s investors all possess backgrounds in real estate, but most lack lead developer Mark Ellert’s hotel experience.

That would hold true for developers anywhere. Some of his Fort Lauderdale projects include the Marriot Harbor Beach, the (currently named) Hilton Marina, the purchase and renovation of Bahia Mar, and the purchase and resale of Pier 66 to name a few. Since 1984, he’s thrown himself into real estate and hotel development. If he were an artist, penthouse suites would be his canvas.

It took more to impress the city commissioners than flashing his long resume.

Wilton Manors City Commissioner Chris Caputo bristled as he recalled incidents where other developers tried to “shove their plans down our throats.” What struck Caputo was the lengths the hotel developers were willing to go to win over the community. “They have made it clear to me that they are invested in Wilton Manors, and they are going to do what they need to do to be successful here.”

Adding that several revisions to the developer’s plans were implemented after constituent feedback from town halls.

There is a reluctance to describe the development as a “gay hotel” by Ellert. According to him, in most respects this will be a hotel like many others. “I’ve developed a lot of hotels. The difference is that this one is going into a community that will make it a special place.”

He is confident the permits and entitlements will be granted, but there are several things that have not been approved yet, which was also confirmed by Chris Caputo.

Read more at OutSFL.


Bruce Vilanch Makes it a Week in South Florida

Vilanch is headed back to South Florida for a little fun and appearances to support Plays of Wilton at the Foundry. He’s hosting “Bruce Vilanch’s Pool Party” on Sept. 10, then three nights of “The Penis Talk Show.”

OutSFL Writers Win Awards

Several OutSFL writers won awards on Aug. 25 during the Sunshine State Awards ceremony at ArtServe. The annual contest honors the best journalism in Florida from the prior year. 


Bicyclists Will Feel the ‘Pinch’ in Latest 26th St Improvement Plan

The project’s goals are to calm traffic, make the street more ADA accessible, and make it better for bicyclists. Commissioners say the plan does the opposite.

Weekly Events

TODAY: Safe Harbor

A weekly support group hosted by SunServe for gay, bisexual and trans men. Must fill out intake form to participate.

WED: We Met at Mary's Speed Dating

Unlucky in love? Head to Hamburger Mary's for a speed dating event to meet new people, make connections, and potentially find love!

THURS: Pride Skate Night

It's the first Thursday of the month, which means it's time to lace up your skates for Pride Skate Night at Xtreme Action Park.

FRI: Customer Appreciation Party

Tatts and Tacos is hosting a customer appreciation party with open bar, complimentary food, and a DJ spinning top 40 and Latin tunes.

SAT: Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida Auditions

Are you ready to hit the high notes and harmonize with some of the most talented voices in South Florida? Audition to join the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida and be a part of an inclusive, vibrant, and diverse community.

SUN: Tea Dance

Join Women With Pride for a tea dance at The Angeles in Fort Lauderdale with music by DJ Musicat. Proceeds benefit The Pride Center.

Job Opportunities

Nurturing Coach -- Wilton Manors

Family Central has an opening for a full time nurturing coach to join a team that is dedicated to investing in families and ensuring their success. This is a great opportunity for somebody looking to work flexible hours including some evening and weekend hours, and has excellent organizational and time management skills.

Food Delivery Driver -- Wilton Manors

Postmates is now a part of the Uber family. That means when you sign up to deliver with Postmates, you get access to twice the amount of delivery opportunities through Uber. Start and end your workday whenever you want. Plus, 100% of every tip you make with Postmates goes right into your bank account.

Meet Your Neighbor

Adrienne Foland came to Wilton Manors in 2003, when she bought her fourplex and dove into her career in real estate. She hasn’t slowed down since. 

Foland is approaching her 20th year with Balistreri Realty and feels honored to have received the 2022 Leadership Award from the Wilton Manors Business Association. It’s also her 10th year with the Wilton Manors Historical Society, serving as the vice president. 

Last year, Foland delivered the historical presentation at Hagen Park in celebration of Wilton Manors’ 75 year anniversary. 

She is also a patron of public art. To name one of her many contributions, Foland supports WiltonArt every year through the Stonewall ribbon installation at city hall. She sponsors the purple ribbon, her favorite color! We are grateful to have Foland and her family – made up of her wife, Amy Waxman, their dog Luna, and two cats, Trick and Treat – in the Wilton Manors neighborhood. If you see her iconic yellow 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia out on the Drive, be sure to wave hello! - Benny Manning

Do you know a neighbor we should feature? Is it you? Email your ideas to


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