Tube Steak Celebration

Nobody would want to eat a 65-year-old hot dog. But everybody wants to eat at a 65-year-old hot dog stand. At least it seems that way when you drive down La Brea near Melrose and see all the folks waiting for franks at Pink's, "a Hollywood legend since 1939."

The eatery will be marking its anniversary celebration for 65 minutes every night Nov. 6-16 starting at 6 p.m. by serving its famous chili dogs for 65 cents each, instead of the standard $2.50. There's a six-per-customer limit, because at a previous promotion, the first person in line ordered 60 to go.

Proceeds will be donated to the favorite charities of celebrity hosts, including Mayor James Hahn and TV personalities Stephanie Edwards, Huell Howser, Leeza Gibbons and Henry Winkler.

The stand staged a similar charity drive for its 60th anniversary. "People did not mind waiting," said Gloria Pink, daughter-in-law of Pinks founders Betty and Paul Pink. "The lines went down the block."

Pink's sells in the range of 1,500-2,000 franks per week, and Gloria said they'll be ordering a lot of extra dogs to celebrate the stand's longevity.

"It just gives people a real sense of community," she said. "There aren't a lot of businesses that stay around for 65 years. We're sort of like an archaeological find."

Steve Silkin

Model Citizen

Fabio Lanzoni generally known as just Fabio is used to getting paid lots of money for modeling clothes and endorsing products. But now he's focusing his time on being a businessman.

In launching a line of women's outerwear, he invested about $100,000 with a designing and manufacturing partner putting in a matching amount and now says he's done about $10 million in business before advertising has even started.

Fabio, who lives in Tarzana, said Sam's Club offered him a marketing test two years ago in New York and Chicago, telling him it would be a "home run" if he could sell 400 to 500 coats. "We sold over 6,000 coats," he said.

Sam's Club spokeswoman Jolanda Stewart said the company doesn't give out sales figures, but confirms that Fabio has an enthusiastic fan base for the line, which has a price range of $30 to $325. "It's fascinating to watch old and young get really excited at the prospect of meeting Fabio and getting his autograph," Stewart said.

Fabio himself hopes to build the line to half a billion dollars a year. "It doesn't cost anything to think big," he said.

Steve Silkin

Is This for Real?

A real reality show to promote a fake reality show?

"Creating America's Next Hit Television Show" is a reality show in which contestants vie for a role on a reality show featuring people living in a home in Aspen, Colo. whose lives are filmed for a reality TV show.

It's all an effort by the show's creator, Greg Simmons, to get his series, "Aspen," produced without agents or Hollywood connections.

"It's a Trojan horse to get 'Aspen' on the air," said Simmons, a former real estate developer who started out bankrolling the project himself, and recently got a few investors on board. But Simmons said his father, entrepreneur Warren Simmons, the developer of San Francisco's Pier 39 and founder of Chevy's Mexican Restaurants, is not among them.

Simmons co-wrote "Aspen" with Lawrence Levy, a former writer on "Seinfeld" and "Roseanne." Simmons bought time on cable channels Spike TV and Comedy Central to air his project starting last month. The show follows 18 aspiring actors who compete for six roles by acting out scenes from "Aspen," while viewers vote online to determine the casting.

It'll be difficult to get the attention he's seeking with his air times: 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. But there's also a contest for online voters with combined prizes worth $100,000, including a weekend trip to Aspen.

Matt Myerhof

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