Thousands of gay men are coming to Palm Springs for this weekend’s White Party. It’s the city’s biggest tourist draw and brings the city a lot of money in hotel taxes.
Organizers say the White Party won’t be affected by these tough times. But rooms are still available at the Wyndham Resort, and even the valets and the bellmen just aren’t as busy as they used to be.
The party is expected to bring in around 25,000 gay men to Palm Springs.
“I just got my tax return back. I’ve got a lot of money to spend, so I plan to use it,” said Adam Jackson, who is visiting the White Party for the first time. He plans on spending $600 this weekend.
A.C. Gregg checks the concierge book to make a restaurant reservation. He’s visiting from Washington, D.C. for the first time.
When asked how many dollars he was planning to spend, Greggsaid he plans to spend quite a few bucks.
“I just took the Aerial Tram to the top of the mountain,” Gregg said.”That was really neat.”
Councilman Rick Hutcheson honored White Party promoter Jeffrey Sanker with a citywide proclamation at Thursday at noon. Palm Springs can use all the hotel tax money it can get. Its already lost more than $1 million compared to last year.
Despite the downturn, Sanker said the Party will do amazing.
“I think people just want to go out and have some fun.”
“It’s a huge impact on the hotel,” Wyndham Resort manager Joe McDonough added.”It’s our little Super Bowl weekend.”
Organizers say the ticket sales will stay strong. But, if Wyndham vacancies and fewer bellman at the front door are any indicator, this party might not have as much to celebrate as times past.
There is some good news to report for local resorts. Hotel Zoso tells News Channel 3 they are now completely booked. The city will need this tourism boost. The latest numbers show hotel taxes down 21 percent from last year.
More information about the weekend can be found at www.jeffreysanker.com.