LIVING LARGE: All those lads who read Maxim now have the chance to live its pages — well, provided they bring the beer and babes and have a passport. Come October, Maxim’s parent, on-the-selling-block Dennis Publishing, plans to debut Maxim Bungalows, a five-star resort in the Dominican Republic, in a venture with Elliott, a hospitality and real estate company. Barry Pincus, manager of brand development at Dennis, said that despite the uncertainty as to who will be the next owner of Maxim, Stuff and Blender, marketing for the bungalows is just business as usual. “This is structured as a licensing agreement but it is really functioning as a partnership,” he said. “We worked together on all the creative aspects and obviously, we bring a lot of marketing power to the table.” He declined to provide financial details.
In an interesting rationale for business expansion, Pincus added Maxim is bullish on its “bricks and mortar” projects because of its success in throwing events. “We thought what would it be like to do this on a full-time basis?” On that note, Pincus confirmed that the Maxim hotel and casino project is still being pursued. “We are still considering all of our options.” — Amy Wicks
PARTING WORDS: Howard University got Oprah Winfrey, Columbia University snagged “Lost” actor (and class of ’89 graduate) Matthew Fox. And on Wednesday, The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, the College for the Business of Fashion will welcome Time Inc. executive vice president Stephanie George. The publishing veteran jumped at the opportunity since she was a teacher at the Fashion and Art Institute of Dallas (now the Art Institute of Dallas) for eight years before beginning her career in magazines. She eventually became president of WWD and later In Style, where she also has had oversight over The Parenting Group, Essence and Real Simple. “It’s such a joy for me as an ex-schoolteacher to speak to the graduates on what will be one of the most important days of their lives,” she said. “My comments will be geared along the lines of, ‘If you have a fork on the road take the one that follows your heart.'” George also plans to borrow a quote from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “If you haven’t failed at something, it means you haven’t taken enough chances,” she said. — Stephanie D. Smith
COAST TO COAST: Self has tapped Caroline Schaefer to be its features director. Most recently deputy editor of Us Weekly, Schaefer worked at Self from 2000 to 2002, and will replace Stephanie Dolgoff, who took on the title about six months ago but is leaving the magazine. Schaefer’s new boss, editor in chief Lucy Danziger, will plug the magazine on both coasts today, starting with a “Good Morning America” appearance with a 7:15 a.m. EST call time and ending with a 7 p.m. PST dinner in Los Angeles for her new entertainment director, Laura Brounstein. The dinner, to be held at Il Sole, is expected to draw the celebrity agents and publicists who control the keys to the newsstand castle. — Irin Carmon