Palm Springs, CA
When you enter the Warm Sands area of Palm Springs you see a lot of high walls and hedges. The reason? This area is known for its clothing optional, gay resorts. But the owner, known as Mo, of Warm Sands Villas tells us guests now have to keep their clothes on and you don’t have to be gay to stay there. He did not want to appear on camera but says he made the change for financial reasons.
But Brad Fuhr with the Gay Desert Guide says these types of resorts are alive and well, "It really is like the place where many of the clothing optional resorts are located and are many of them are thriving."
And he’s not shocked the owner changed its policy, because of his lack of participation in LGBT causes and events, "That doesn’t surprise me in some ways because over the years the owner that took that over a few years ago has not been as welcoming to the LGBT community.
Guests staying there, who did not want to appear on camera, tell us they were caught by surprise and disappointed by the rule change.
Troy Evans, visiting from Boston, who is staying at a clothing optional resort across the way says he would be upset too, "I would want a refund, I would not be happy about that … I think that’s not a good decision and not really fair to the guests."
Palm Springs has the most clothing optional, gay resorts in the world and they’re popular for many reasons and not for what most people think.
"There are so many tourists … that want the clothing optional experience, not for anything more than just to be free and to be themselves," says Fuhr adding that these resorts allow people a safe space to express themselves.
"I always feel welcome there’s no judgment," says Evans.
And that’s why Fuhr says they’re an important part of the fabric Palm Springs, "They’ve been around for decades and i don’t really see them going away, there will be a need to be able to express themselves long into the future."
Upset guests may continue to be a problem at Warm Sands Villas as many of the travel booking websites still show the boutique hotel as being a gay, clothing optional resort.