• New Smyrna Beach residents protest 'The Island' reality show


    NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - There's a new reality show being filmed right in New Smyrna Beach, and residents aren't happy with how it portrays their city.

    The new show, "The Island," is being compared to MTV's hit series "Jersey Shore," which filmed the party lifestyles of adults in Seaside Heights, N.J.

    Nearly 1,500 residents in New Smyrna Beach are protesting it, but there's nothing city officials can do to stop it.

    A 10-minute pilot episode posted online is supposedly a preview of the new reality show, and it is making the rounds in New Smyrna Beach.

    It features a group of young friends in New Smyrna Beach partying it up while discussing their lives and romances.

    Patrick Eichsteadt, a well-known local photographer, helps promote southeast Volusia County. He is joined by 1,600 residents on Facebook opposed to the show.

    "About two minutes into it, I had to turn it off. I was disgusted," Eichsteadt said.

    A promotional video he put together for Beach Weeks -- an event used to draw tourists to the water, local hotels and restaurants -- is what he calls reality in New Smyrna Beach.

    "Our area is not about who's sleeping with who and who's going to the bar; how late you're at the bar," Eichsteadt said.

    The demographics of New Smyrna Beach are different compared to Seaside Heights, N.J.

    For example, the population of Seaside Heights older than 65 is only 16 percent. The over-65 population in New Smyrna Beach is 33 percent.

    Eichsteadt said the show should pack up and leave town.

    "Book a ticket on a plane or a bus or fill your car up with a lot of gas and have a lot of money and get yourself over to Hollywood and get an audition over there, and hopefully you guys can be famous," Eichsteadt said.

    Eyewitness News was unable to reach the producer of the show for comment.

    Officials with the local Chamber of Commerce said the show is bad for business.

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