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Chaps Inn caters to the gay leather and bear communities

The Chaps Inn offers comfort and relaxation in a secluded environment.

Stuart and Ian have owned the resort for almost 20 years, coming to Palm Springs from the UK.

“We had nothing to do with the hotel business at all, we just went straight in cold turkey,” Ian said. “We woke up one morning and thought, ‘Now what?’ It’s been a very good experience.”

The Chaps Inn is a 10-room clothing-optional gay resort, with a saltwater pool and spa. Most rooms have kitchens or kitchenettes, some have private patios, and the hotel is within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs. It caters to the leather and bear communities, and sees a lot of return guests.

“They always tell us what a wonderful time they’ve had, and that they will be back,” Ian said.

When they purchased the property, it was a straight resort and not clothing optional, but Stuart and Ian quickly picked up a client base through word of mouth. The couple enjoys getting to meet their new guests and greet return ones, and they don’t mind when the temperature soars.

“The weather is fabulous,” Ian said. “We’re both from England, so we absolutely love the heat.”

The charming Bearfoot Inn is the only gay men’s clothing-optional resort in Palm Springs’ historic Movie Colony neighborhood, putting it just steps away from all the action of downtown.

Once they arrived in Palm Springs, Glen Boomhour and Jerry Pergolesi knew they were in the right place.

The owners of the Bearfoot Inn originally had planned to open a hotel in Florida; as Canadians, this is the “go to sun destination,” Jerry said. Instead, they opened as a bed and breakfast in Toronto, which “gave us time to open our field of vision and take a serious look at Palm Springs,” Jerry said. “We’re glad we did.”

The Bearfoot Inn is proud to serve the gay community, in one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world.

After 11 years in Toronto, The Bearfoot Inn in Palm Springs officially opened on Jan. 1, 2013, although word spread ahead of time and they opened their doors a few days early to welcome drop-in guests.

“What’s great about Palm Springs is the weather, of course, and Palm Springs is probably the most gay positive city in the U.S.,” Jerry said.

The Bearfoot Inn is in the historic Movie Colony neighborhood, the only clothing-optional gay men’s resort with this distinction, and just steps away from downtown. Its 11 guest rooms all have memory foam mattresses, extra-large showers, and flatscreen televisions, and guests can relax outside in the heated saltwater pool and spa.

“We love the desert and we love that Palm Springs is so cosmopolitan while retaining a small town feel,” Jerry said. “In many respects, that is reflected in our attitude about Bearfoot Inn. We’re small, laid-back, and casual, but a little savvy, too — at least we hope we are.”

Jerry and Glen enjoy being involved in the community, and appreciate the support and sense of camaraderie amongst the hoteliers.

“We’re so happy to be part of something that makes Palm Springs special, from being the city with the most LGBTQ hotels to being amongst the many boutique hotels that give Palm Springs its unique charm as a sun destination or a weekend getaway,” Jerry said.

By Linda Milks

Palm Springs is home to one of the largest Pride parades in the country where the entire community—queer and straight—celebrates diversity, authenticity, and civil liberties. It’s also just a great time!

For 39 years, Palm Springs, CA, has celebrated Palm Springs Pride with uncommon style and swagger. Each year promises to be bigger and better. Palm Springs Pride 2019 will take place from November 1-3 and is themed “Millions of Moments of Pride.”

Photo: John Warden

And this year, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels’ committee chair, Michael Green, is the Community Grand Marshal. He’s also the executive Director of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, chair of the Desert Gay Tourism Guild, and owns the iconic Triangle Inn Palm Springs with his husband, Stephen.

Media Grand Marshal is Alexander Rodriquez.

November 3 will be a great time at the Block Party on Arenas Rd. The event is loaded with DJs, music stages, food vendors, entertainers, and a glorious parade. New for this year is the Pride Stage located at Hermosa and N. Palm Canyon Dr. You will find local royalty to emcee the parade from the reviewing stand, including Dottie DuBois, Maude Chapeau, and Mannie, the Movie Guy. All the action in this area starts at 9 am.

To start things off in brilliant colors, on October 31 attend the Rainbow Flag Unfurling from 10 am – 10:30 am at 1140 N. Indian Canyon Rd. This giant flag will be unfurled from the top of the Stergios Tower at Desert Regional Medical Center.

The Equality Kickoff is November 1 from 6 pm – 11 pm to celebrate strength, equality and self-determination of the LGBTQ community.  This is guaranteed to be a massive downtown street party with three stages for entertainment, the Arenas Stage, the Pride Stage, and the KGAY Dance stage. There will be performances by Kristine W (queen of 90’s dance music), That 80’s Band, and DJ Autumn Leilani.

One of the main acts during Pride will be LA-based electronic music artist Madame Ghandi and also UK-based, multi-platinum artist and songwriter DYSON. Other entertainers to look for are TLC, Heather Small, BETTY, and Ada Vox.

Photo: John Warden

The Palm Springs Art Museum will display The Art of Pride, Make an Exhibition of Yourself, and is a brand new official Pride event to be held on all three levels of the museum from 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm on November 1.

An exciting Pop Up event in Downtown and Uptown Palm Springs will be part of the weekend with food, art, music, fashion, and prizes. Businesses in Downtown and Uptown will be creating their own pop-up events. There will be a passport to fill out as you visit these businesses so that you are entered for a prize. The pop-up event will be from 3pm – 8 pm on November 1. The final deadline for businesses to sign up is October 25 at www.PopUpPalmSprings.com

Then, on November 2, take part in the Pride Festival happening from 11 am – 10 pm in Downtown Palm Springs and check out the Arenas District Block party from 6 pm – 11:30 pm.

November 3 is  the date of the big Pride Parade from 10 am – noon which steps off at Tachevah and Palm Canyon Dr.

To find out exactly where everything is happening, go to: www.pspride.org.

Don’t forget to grab your favorite adult beverage because for the first time ever you can stroll down Arenas Rd. and sip while being fearlessly authentic.

Speaking of staying authentic, stay at one of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels  gay resorts where you will be beautifully enveloped by community and relaxation and pride is always in style.

Photo: Linda Milks

Created by ArtsTank Greater Palm Springs grant winner Peter Tigler and attendees of the 37th La Quinta Arts Festival

Welcome to Palm Springs, where the sun shines 360 days of the year. We’re fun, fashionable and Instagram ready, and hoo boy do I have a lot to share. And thank the Stars (Walk of Stars), a lot of wonderful friends helped me with this particular blog. So, big shout outs to Francesca Amari, one of our finest vocalists in the valley; and Nick Singleton, Desert War Veteran, and the social media man who never misses an event.

We’ve got a bit of walking ahead, and it’s okay to bring the dog. But make sure she’s wearing shoes, and you should put on some comfy ones, too. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and treat yourself to an umbrella. It covers those bare arms and shoulders better than a hat. You can get one at Destination PSP, one of the best places to get Palm Springs swag and after you browse (and you will) we’ll get to Instagramming.

Murals & Art Installations:

The Sandbox: Amanda Gorman by MisterAlek, and The Babies, sculptures by David Cerney. Photo courtesy of Jim Powers.

We’ve got a lot of murals in Palm Springs. Some are easy to get to, like the Greetings photo, but some – like the ones next to it in the pit with The Babies by David Cerney – are not. Not because they’re difficult to find but because no one seems to know if you’re allowed in the sandbox yet. After calling four places, I finally got an answer: you’re not. Yet. BUT you can see all of the installations from above and there are more in that general vicinity between the Art Museum and the Kimpton Plaza (KP).

In the Plaza, you can find the Angel Wings, and the PS I *Heart* U installation; they’re just around the corner from each other. The Desert Glow mural can be found on Palm Canyon Drive in the strip of retail stores attached to the KC Mall.

Isabelle by Julian Voss-Andreas

This is my favorite piece of art in Palm Springs. Created by artist Julian Voss-Andreas, Isabelle is different from every view, and with every drop of sunlight, or moonlight. From some angles, she seems to disappear completely.

Heavily-filtered shot of Graffiti Park

Behind the Plaza, is a plethora of art. Let’s start a little north of the Plaza, across from Stout Burgers and Beer and Haus of Poke on the corner of Museum Way and Belardo. It’s called Graffiti Park, and it is teeming with street art.

Courtesy of Jim Powers and Palm Springs Art Museum

On the other side of the Sandbox (where the babies are) is a brand new installation: Gonzalo Librija’s History of Suspended Time. Presented in the lot across from Palm Springs Art Museum’s main campus, it will remain on-site for a year. In this piece, a car appears to defy gravity and time as if hanging suspended over a pool of liquid approximately 40-feet in diameter.

Palm Springs takes pride in their storied history, and Lucille Ball called it her home away from Hollywood for years. She can be found on the northeast corner of Palm Canyon and Tacquitz. Her statue looks a little sad. Stop by and give her some Insta-love.

Scattered throughout the valley is a series of more than 50 benches funded by the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. The previous link will show you where they all are, and this article, by my colleague, Kathy Condon, tells you all about them. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the new art installations that are going up all over town to beautify our electric boxes and trash cans.

I’ve lived here for seven years now, and I’d never been to The Corridor. Boy, was I missing out. I knew the shops were there, but didn’t realize through their actual corridor there is a “secret garden” with whimsical art installations. It’s beautiful. Truly. And you can enjoy a coffee and then browse the shops.

Nick Singleton with all the neon at Boozehounds

At the north end, just south of the iconic Toucans, is a new place called Boozehounds. If you’ve been walking with your pup, or even if you’re not, stop in for a bite and grab a few snaps while you’re at it. Be forewarned, it’s a bit of a hike in distance, not topography.

Nick Singleton at V Wine Lounge

Time to head back south, and a cocktail is likely in order. Stop into V Wine Lounge and take a photo with the umbrella, and have a nice glass of wine or try Hunters and take a photo with their never-ending mural, and pull up a seat while I spill some tea, and tell you about the chair.

The Tea on Forever Marilyn

Forever Marilyn, created by Seward Johnson, is a representation of one of the most famous images of Monroe, taken from Billy Wilder’s film The Seven Year Itch. She was here for a few years, but left in 2014, and now she’s back! However, there’s quite a bit of furor over her location.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is unhappy that when visitors leave their museum they’ve got a direct eyeshot of her…up-skirt. There is a faction in Palm Springs that is talking #metoo, Some don’t consider it art, and others want it moved where it’s supposed to be, in the park next to Museum Way that’s still being built. There is a pedestal where she is supposed to go, and someone, I have no idea who, put an empty chair on the pedestal.

For sure, she’s coming, But, in the meantime, sit in the chair and Instagram away.

Forever Marilyn and the Chair

Don’t want to overload ya’ll (why, yes, I do have some southern roots) with Insta-ops, so we’ll get to those when you come back. And, you know, you will. #ILOVEPS

As always, please shop and stay at locally-owned businesses. And if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotels (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!)