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Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Shifts Its Pitch From Sexy to Family

 Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Shifts Its Pitch From Sexy to Family

The Fountainebleau in Miami Beach (photo by creative commons user ♣ ℓ u m i è r e ♣)

Douglas Hanks | The Miami Herald

Six months ago, Victoria’s Secret fashion models showed off their underwear at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach for a national television audience. This week, Kelly Ripa was the star at the newly renovated resort as she and Regis Philbin took their morning show, Live! with Regis and Kelly, to Miami Beach.

“Another day in paradise from the Fontainebleau Miami Beach,” the former soap star declared as the Wednesday show opened live a few feet from the resort’s pool deck.

The shift in spotlight wasn’t an accident. The Fontainebleau is making an effort to change its image from seductive beachside escape to a family-friendly vacation spot.

When the hotel opened, the marketing campaign “was to play hot and sexy,” said Howard Karawan, chief operating officer of Fontainebleau Resorts. “Coming out of the winter, we knew that wasn’t going to work. We had to go for family.”

The switch is dramatic. After spending $5 million on the Victoria’s Secret bash, the Fontainebleau has all but halted the advertising campaign that melded perfectly with it: a series of black-and-white images of a sultry, nearly naked woman positioned next to the Fontainebleau logo.

Now the Fontainebleau is helping pay for Regis and Kelly’s Miami Beach getaway – shows that have been airing live from the resort’s pool deck all week.

Karawan would not say how much the resort paid the show, but did say the amount is less than $1 million.

After Ripa’s intro, Philbin gave the audience a lengthy synopsis of the dining offerings at the Fontainebleau. “In this hotel, I have not found a weak restaurant yet,” he said.