PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - It’s Greater Palm Springs Pride weekend! The event not only brings in visitors from across the country but it also means a big boom for local businesses.
“Now we get a mix of snowbirds, you get a mix of all of these visitors, you get people from Los Angeles and everybody kind of co-mingles quite nicely and it also makes business a little better too,” said Dean Ravine, owner of the Black Book Bar in Palm Springs.
After a typically slower summer season, the weekend makes for a great kickoff to the winter business season.
“This is about a 300% increase from a regular weekend for us. This is our biggest weekend of the year. Last weekend was our second biggest so we’re really excited, this makes the month for us,” said Rob Champbell, manager at Palm Springs Piercing Co.
“We’re open until 3 am, so we’ll have probably 300 people a day to 1500 people a day," said Robb Wright, manager at Bongo Johnny's in Palm Springs. "This weekend fills in the gaps for when it’s slower in the summertime.”
The weekend is expected to bring in big bucks across a whole weekend of events.
“The economic impact is over $25 million that it brings and then some, with all the hotel reservations, retails sales and of course the restaurants,” said Jeff Hocker, committee member for Greater Palm Springs Pride.
The event is not only impacting downtown but the entire city.
“A lot of people having fun bringing energy, not only to the street but to the city," Ravine said. "I think people would consider gay pride the crown jewel of Palm Springs.”
There will be several vendors on Arenas Road on Saturday as well as a parade on Sunday morning.
A traffic note, Palm Canyon Drive will be closed Saturday morning through Sunday night. The parade begins at 10 am Sunday morning and will start at Tachevas Road going southbound on Palm Canyon Drive.