Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Possums, our pal Doug at The Miami Herald has certainly come up with the goods this week.
On the paper's Top Chef blog, Doug has posted some photos of the cheftestants in their digs at the Fontainebleau (including the one above; what could Dale Levitski and Brian MFMalarkey be talking about?). And in the paper, Doug has a fascinating story about the effects of reality tv shows on tourism that includes the following tidbits:
* [For Top Chef,] Fontainebleau executives traded six weeks of free stays at both the $8,000-a-night suite and roughly 100 rooms for producers and support staff.
* When Top Chef was scouting locations for its third season, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau decided to aggressively pursue the show for its ability to boost Miami's standing as a culinary destination. Along with help scouting locations, the bureau paid Top Chef about $20,000 cash to offset production costs, executives said.
* Along with waiving rent at its condo-hotel building, the Fontainebleau had to reimburse unit owners for the lost rental revenue, said Feder, the general manager. In exchange, Top Chef regularly flashes images of the hotel's entrance sign, as well as long segments shot in the suite where the cast sleeps, plots and socializes. Producers even edited footage so that contestants seem to cook downstairs in the hotel and not at the Ice Palace production facilities in downtown Miami that Top Chef rented for its main kitchen facilities.
Math isn't our forte, but that's around $336,000 in savings for the cheftestants' accomodations alone. No wonder Bravo seems to be milking this season for all it's worth.