Gaydar comes up Kelowna

By STEVE MacNAULL The Daily Courier

Kelowna is being promoted as a gayfriendly holiday destination, says the daily Courier. "The time is right. This is our debut," said Don Pretzer, the president of the new Okanagan Gay and Lesbian Business Association, "There are numerous businesses that are gay-owned and gay-friendly, so we should tell this lucrative market that the Okanagan is open for business and that it has many businesses that welcome gay and lesbian travellers."

Gay vacationers are after virtually the same vacation experiences as anyone else, which is why the Valley's exceptional offerings of ski, golf, wine, spa, outdoor adventure, arts and culture have hit the gay radar. Pretzer says Kelowna has been a destination for Vancouver and Calgary gays for years, but as the city generally becomes better known as a tourist hot spot, gay travel publications and tour organizers have shown interest.

"Kelowna doesn't have to change what it is to attract gays," says Pretzer, the co-owner of Spring Buck, a bed and breakfast that caters to gays, but it does have to make gays feel welcome." The association started late last year when some gay bed and breakfast owners decided to start a group and then invite others to join.

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