hotspots-then-now-0
Advertisement

hotspots-then-now-0

When we think back to the early 80’s (for those old enough), gay clubs were still in dark alleys and gay ghettos, HIV/AIDS was in its infancy and being gay was something most people hid from their friends, co-workers and families. The growing South Florida gay community needed another voice and Jason Bell, who had owned First Impression Printing, decided to open Hotshot Magazine, which was later rebranded and became Hotspots Magazine a few years earlier.

hotspots-then-now-1

hotspots-then-now-2

When we think back to the early 80’s (for those old enough), gay clubs were still in dark alleys and gay ghettos, HIV/AIDS was in its infancy and being gay was something most people hid from their friends, co-workers and families. The growing South Florida gay community needed another voice and Jason Bell, who had owned First Impression Printing, decided to open Hotshot Magazine, which was later rebranded and became Hotspots Magazine a few years earlier.

Hotspots recognized the opportunity to produce a high quality publication and was the first to introduce spot color, later full color, and eventually glossy paper. A lot of Hotspots’ success had to do with its provocative nature and the fact that everyone agreed that Jason was a good businessman.

In 1997 Hotspots Magazine was in search of a new owner/publisher. Peter Clark, former advertising executive, owner of Venice Beach Guest Quarters and the original president of the Gay Hotel Association, stumbled upon an ad on the internet listing a gay publication for sale in South Florida. Peter was hoping that it would be Hotspots Magazine; he had an affinity for the publication and credited Hotspots with his success in Fort Lauderdale. Once Peter signed a non-disclosure agreement he was thrilled to learn that, indeed, it was Hotspots Magazine.

hotspots-then-now-3Peter had his first meeting with Jason to discuss the prospect of purchasing the magazine in May 2007. He was truly overwhelmed with the magnitude of the publication. At the time Hotspots owned and operated a 15,000 square foot warehouse, its own presses, binders and had employed operators to run these sophisticated machines. After 6 months of negotiating, on November 11th Peter and his life partner (they are already married in Canada) Cleto Beuren officially took over complete ownership of Hotspots Magazine and the building that houses it.

hotspots-then-now-4

Hotspots is Reborn

Within 2 months the new Hotspots was launched and its state of the art web site, the first virtual magazine of its kind that featured interactive turn page technology, was unveiled at a launch event at the Fort Lauderdale Grand Hotel with much fanfare. The gay community saw this as a breath of fresh air and embraced Hotspots and its new team.

hotspots-then-now-5Peter Clark, publisher of Hotspots, said, “We are proud to say that in the 3 years Cleto and I have owned the Hotspots we have supported and sponsored every major LGBT organization and business initiative.”

Peter is pleased to have formed a team of professionals with various skill sets and backgrounds including expertise in advertising, marketing, graphics and business. Hotspots is always willing to share their expertise with any of the advertisers and are humbled that many of the businesses are open to our suggestions.

hotspots-then-now-6

Our Latino Partner

hotspots-then-now-7Peter’s mantra is “We are the company we keep.” He recognized that in order to communicate with 100% of the LGBT community of Florida we needed to embrace the gay Latin community and formed a partnership with Latino Boys Magazine. Less than a year later Hotspots became the sole owner of LBM. Peter raised the profile of LBM through increased presence of the Spanish language in every column and introduced new features, columns and recently a video segment, “CafĂ© Con Leche,” interviews people who make a difference in the gay Latin community. To further build on the success of the formula of LBM, the decision was made to take the magazine to the next level starting with its new name, Genre Latino. The magazine will now have a more sophisticated look and refreshed content. “I attribute most of the success of LBM to the dedication and passion of Josue Santiago and his amazing team, and for that I can’t thank them enough” said Peter Clark.

hotspots-then-now-8Edge Media

The next opportunity we seized was to form a partnership with Edge Media, the #1 LGBT website in the country reaching a national audience of over of a million subscribers. We are proud to supply Florida content by sharing Hotspots’ columns and features with Edge Media.

hotspots-then-now-9Hotspots Expands North

In October 2008, as part of Hotspots’ growth strategy, we increased our circulation substantially by expanding distribution to include Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa. In a few short months Hotspots was embraced by the Central Florida gay business community. We responded to that call and started field operations in Central Florida headed by Scott Spar and his team of writers, photographers and contributors.

Where do we go from here?

hotspots-then-now-10Clearly technology has impacted our lives in a very positive way and Hotspots Magazine has embraced that very notion. In that spirit, we are leading the gay media once again by launching a brand new iPad and smart phone applications. We have also re-engineered our website to embrace the technology and to grow with it. In Florida we are proud to have more fans on Facebook than any other LGBT media (print or web).

We have decided to start our 26th year by continuing to build on the very foundation of our business: the magazine itself. We are proud to announce that Hotspots has gone green, not to make a political or fashion statement, but as responsible citizens. As you will see starting with this edition of Hotspots we have taken the magazine to the next level with a fresh new look.

We Trully Hope You Enjoy the New Hotspots Magazine!

hotspots-then-now-11

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here