Gay Days 2012 was the event’s biggest year yet, with organizers and partners reporting record-breaking attendance and sales numbers.
“Our host hotel sold out two weeks earlier than last year and attendance at all of our events was up,” said Chris Manley, who is the co-owner of Gay Days along with his partner, Tommy. The Gay Days host hotel was the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, which has 1,000 rooms. Manley said the hotel reserved 900 rooms for Gay Days visitors but because they sold out so quickly, they were able to secure an extra 50.
“This is our third year with Doubletree and we’ve signed another three-year contract,” Manley said. “We’re their largest client and I think that finally reached up to Hilton, which owns Doubletree, so [Hilton] came on as a sponsor this year.”
Manley reported that they sold all 120 available spaces at the Gay Days Expo and those vendors reported bigger sales than previous years. The Expo is held on the ground floor of the Doubletree Hotel, but Manley said they also sell vendor spaces outdoors and in the women’s wing, and both locations had four times the number of vendors as last year. He said this is the first year they offered vendor space in the Bear wing, as well.
“I think the economy is improving little by little,” Manley said. “The power of our marketing we do around the country and around the world gets the message out to more and more people.”