I hate to break it to you, Cindy Tibbetts: The truth is Lucille Ball never lived on the “site” of this house you’re selling on Bird Key. That’s the oldest, most disproven rumor in Sarasota. Nevertheless, there is it—as the headline of the advertising campaign, complete with a mini-movie, that is so over-the-top that I can’t decide if its brilliant or just plain silly.
The house in question is at 22 Seagull Lane on Bird Key. It’s called Isle of View. It’s a perfectly nice $7.9 million Med. Revival waterfront mansion, with a couple of special touches, the most notable of which is a 1950s Chris Craft yacht that’s been turned into a bar in the family room. But what makes it special is the aforementioned promotional film.
A Katharine Harris lookalike in diamond chandelier earrings is daydreaming in her private jet as it lands in Sarasota. She climbs into her white Bentley, parked beside the plane, loaded down with shopping bags from The Met—a little confusing since she’s coming to Sarasota, not leaving, so why is she bringing shopping bags from The Met—unless that’s how she packs, just throwing things in old shopping bags (something I confess I do myself on occasion)?
Then she drives off to Bird Key, a trip which takes two minutes of movie time, to find an empty house. Now, we’ve seen a shot of her husband’s—or boyfriend’s?—cuffs as he is dressing and sipping Scotch, so we know he’s there somewhere. She searches the place from top to bottom, and this goes on for several minutes more, as it is a very large house and has many guest rooms, wine cellars, a home theater, and an enormous yacht parked out back. This certainly does highlight the size of the house—7,800 square feet, four-car garage, 30-by-30 kitchen, but it also kind of makes you think, "Gee, every time I look for something it’s going to take a half an hour?"
The search gives the viewer plenty of time to try and figure out what is going on. I was hoping she’d find the husband dead from a gunshot wound, but it turns out he’s organized a surprise party for her. All the guests toast her with champagne, then she and hubby go out on the balcony and make out. But wait—here’s the twist: we cut back to the plane and it’s all been a dream!
I get a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot of these mini-dramas as the high-end market comes back. And I want to make it clear that I am available to write, star and direct. In the meantime go to isleofview.info. And for more about the house you can call Cindy at 941-730-0500.