Make us your home page
Instagram

Chillounge creator steps up his game with rescheduled event on St. Pete Beach sands

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in May. The event was rescheduled to October, and dates in the story have been updated to reflect that change.

After turning downtowns into living rooms with his Chillounge events, Rainer Scheer is now exterior decorating on St. Pete Beach.

Scheer's latest experiment in leisure is the Sunset Lounge Experience, an upscale evening of buffet dining on the sands behind TradeWinds Island Resort.

How upscale? Individual tickets are $195, although couples packages ($490) include tickets plus one of 40 reserved day beds on the beach, or one of 16 canopy lounges. The remainder will settle into a central lounge of sofas and armchairs for top-shelf cocktails, a culinary feast and entertainment, intimately illuminated with LED towers and lamps.

Oct. 8's event is limited to 280 diners, and tickets must be purchased by 6 p.m. Oct. 6 to allow food preparation time.

Scheer knows this is a risky endeavor. His last three Chillounge events in Florida were postponed due to bad weather (Sunday is this event's rain date), and the Sunset Lounge Experience price point is higher, with more complicated logistics.

"Eight years ago I flew to Indonesia and took a big risk by buying three semi trucks of furniture," Scheer, 54, said by telephone. "Now Straub Park and Curtis Hixon Park look pretty amazing (on Chillounge nights).

"I realize I'm in the gambling business. ... How can you have three rainouts in a two-month time frame? But I'm hanging in there. I believe in the concept and I'm a hard worker. I have the passion and the vision, so I just go for it."

TradeWinds vice president of marketing Travis Johnson said his resort believes in the concept, and the entrepreneur behind it.

"Obviously he has a proven track record of successful events, although the price point on those events is not what this one is," Johnson said by telephone. "He does have a very rich database, in terms of a VIP clientele that go to those (Chillounge) events.

"Over the course of years with him operating ... there's a lot of demand for his VIP sections; they sell out. Those are always over 100 bucks a ticket, as it is. Obviously the food is good there but it's not to the scale of what we've got planned."

The menu, available at sunsetloungeexperience.com, begins with a mixed seafood ice sculpture and various salads. Entrees include red snapper with papaya salsa, jerk chicken breast with caramelized apple and golden raisin compote, lobster tails, beef tenderloin and sides of roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus and marinated peppers. For dessert, choose among apricot almond tarts, flourless chocolate tortes, tiramisu, cheesecake and more.

"Everything is high end ... top-shelf liquor, all you can eat and drink," Scheer said. "They sit in a nice furniture piece, like you would expect in the Caribbean or in a five-star hotel."

Although staging beach events is nothing new for the TradeWinds staff, usually corporate holiday parties, Scheer's latest flight of leisure is a stretch.

"This is obviously unique, the feel, the chic furniture that's coming out," Johnson said. "It's a totally different atmosphere than the more casual beach events we've done in the past."

Contact Steve Persall at spersall@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

.If you go

Sunset Lounge Experience

The Sunset Lounge Experience is at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 on the beach at TradeWinds Island Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Tickets, $195-$490, are available through 6 p.m. Oct. 6 at sunsetloungeexperience.com.

Chillounge creator steps up his game with rescheduled event on St. Pete Beach sands 09/27/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 11:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Take your vacation! Being a work martyr doesn't help

    Travel

    The traditional start of the summer vacation season always produces vacation-themed reports. This year's theme is "vacation shaming."

    This year’s theme is “vacation shaming,” the common workplace condition when employees leave paid vacation time unused because they’re afraid to take time off.
  2. Celebrate Pride with this playlist of LGBTQ musicians

    Essays

    I first came out over a decade ago, early in the torments of middle school and deep in the cornfields of suburban Indiana. To say I was lacking classmates who were out and local queer role models — let alone national ones — feels like an understatement. The school and public libraries offered few LGBTQ …

    Tegan and Sara perform during Splendour in the Grass 2016 on July 24, 2016, in Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
  3. Plan your weekend June 23-25: Pride parade, Lego art, Tampa Theatre beer fest 'Barley's Angels'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Parade

    St. Pete Pride: More than 200,000 people are expected to revel on a new route Saturday along downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront for a parade that has grown into the largest in the Southeast. There will be a free concert on Friday in Straub Park …

    Andy Garcia of Miami watches the group of anti gay protest era speak to the crowd before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Ticket Window: Mumford and Sons, Brad Paisley, Lorde

    Music & Concerts

    Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:

  5. Star Wars' Han Solo spinoff movie loses directors over 'creative differences'

    Blogs

    "I've got a bad feeling about this" is right.

    Christopher Miller, left, and Phil Lord have left the production in the middle of filming.