As Area General Manager of Gurney’s Resorts, Michael Nenner has been instrumental in elevating the classic Montauk name into a world-class brand and destination–complete with its own ice cream flavor…
Describe your perfect day on the East End.
My family enjoys walking throughout the quaint village of Sag Harbor, perusing the small shops and galleries. We love to top off our day with a treat from Grindstone Coffee & Donuts, a modern-rustic hot spot serving hot brioche donuts in creative flavors. As the Area General Manager of Gurney’s Resorts, which are all waterfront properties, being by the water is an integral part of my life and brings great joy. When not by Lake Montauk at Gurney’s Star Island or near the beautiful beach at Gurney’s Montauk, Sag Harbor presents just as beautiful of a coastal atmosphere.
What are some other favorite spots and activities?
The sunrises on the beach at Gurney’s Montauk are truly special in the winter, as there is no one around and all you can hear are the waves crashing down. Another of my favorite sites with the family is watching the Golden Hour at Sunset Beach on Shelter Island. For a top-notch sunset, we often go to Navy Beach or The Montauket.
Tell us about the origins of “Weekend at Gurney’s.”
At the Montauk properties, we’re focused on partnering with like-minded New York brands to elevate the guest experience and create a memorable destination. We approached Van Leeuwen Ice Cream to offer our guests the best ice cream to enjoy in a vacation setting. Now, Gurney’s Star Island is home to Van Leeuwen’s first brick-and-mortar hotel store.
While developing the partnership, I presented the idea of making an exclusive Gurney’s Resorts flavor that spoke to the waterfront atmosphere and summer months. We knew the flavor had to have a bonfire element, as s’mores are an integral part of our offerings at both Montauk properties. As we like to provide effortless elegance at our properties, we sought to make the flavor smooth and added peanut butter and chocolate. The finished product was an ice cream with a peanut butter base, chocolate swirl, marshmallow bits and a graham cracker crumble. With every bite, “Weekend at Gurney’s” delights the senses.
If you could have any three people at your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
There are so many–this is so difficult to narrow down! I’ll go with Robin Williams, Leonardo DaVinci and Nelson Mandela. This unique mix of individuals in one setting would tap into different aspects of my brain and present the opportunity for fascinating conversation. We’d have humor, intellect, creativity, humanity, and the sheer volume of cumulative life experience would be mind-blowing.
You have a glass of your wine in your hand right now–what toast would you like to make?
May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows.