Gay Days Arizona :: ’We’ll Have A Gay Old Time!’
The Gay Days brand started over 25 years ago at Disney World Orlando and has grown to host more than 160,000 each year. The locations have grown as well, and now include Gay Days Las Vegas, Gay Days Anaheim, Gay Days at Sea and now the moniker’s newest incarnation, Gay Days Arizona. Though the logos are the same, not all are under the same management, yet the vibe among them is collaborative.
The newest expansion, Gay Days Arizona is happening Thursday, May 8 through Monday, May 12 and is the brainchild of native Arizonan Ian Joseph. He insists that the new location and events couldn’t have proceeded without the assistance of the Gay Days founders. "I am not going at this alone; I have plenty of input from sponsors and other producers who have been putting together these types of events since before I even knew I was gay. Chris [Alexander-Manley] and Tommy [Manley] have been amazing mentors."
Arizona’s reputation is not necessarily one of "gay friendliness,"when asked about the impetus for starting an event there, Joseph had this to say: "The idea behind Gay Days is simple; we want to showcase Arizona as an LGBT destination. Many people have the perception that Arizona is not gay-friendly and that couldn’t be further from the truth."
He continues,"Not to state the obvious, but the recent national attention due to SB1062 was not very helpful in spreading this message, but in the end the government is not what makes a city friendly; its people do." No doubt a true and wonderful ideal.
When asked what the biggest differences between this and other events he’s experienced, Joseph opined, "Gay Days is a brand that is known for fun. People will be here to enjoy a beautiful resort, soak in the sun, and dance the night away."
The host property, the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is indeed stunning, The Rage Monthly asked how organizers came to choose it Joseph responded, "We were really in search of a resort that had a water park on property and the Arizona Grand came to mind. Guests will have full access to the property including daily admission to the water park, the fitness center and all other resort amenities." Joseph added, "We have set aside a private tower of 250 rooms for the Gay Days patrons inclusive of two private pools."
Family-friendly kept coming to mind during the conversation. I asked if that was the concept, and Joseph filled in the gap. "The true concept is to offer something for everyone. We want to make sure that anyone attending or planning to attend the events can find something to suit their personal taste. Though with the exception of a few family-friendly daytime options we are a 21-and-over event."
Inevitably, we got around to talking about the no-gay-event-would-be-complete-without-it, late-night dance events. He shared some of the expected DJ lineup. "So far we have secured DJ John Joseph joining us from San Diego, veteran Gay Days Orlando DJ Barney Philly, as well as local favorites like DJ Tsunami, DJ Musa, and DJ Sweat. Our cast of wicked DJs will be ensure that people will have a great time during all the Gay Days events."
I asked Ian to sum up his idea about the brand, and in particular this event. He finished with this: "Ultimately, the overall experience is unlike anything currently happening in the Phoenix area."
Book your visit now, for a limited time Gay Days Arizona is offering a stay-and-save package called the "Sunrise Pass," for those who plan to stay at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa. It includes entrance into all of the parties for only $199 when you book your individually-priced, two-night stay at the resort. The value of the pass is over $425 and will ensure you a great time during the weekend of festivities. For more information go to gaydaysaz.com