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Business slowly resumes in West Hollywood

Halting steps toward new normal amid pandemic and protest panic



Transit Workers Appreciation Week - Santa Monica Boulevard Lanterns

After a nearly 3 month pause, Los Angeles allows businesses to reopen and owners are hopeful crowds will return.  (Photo provided by City of West Hollywood)

Feeling the pressure of an ailing economy, West Hollywood businesses are anxious to finally re-open, after several weeks of closures. Amid new safety rules, the long term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest have resulted in a mix of fear and uncertainty within the community,

“I am excited for our businesses but worried for them as well,” acknowledged Genevieve Morrill, president and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “While it almost feels impossible to move forward without fear of the pandemic or fear of looters, many are.”

Morrill is concerned that Weho establishments are able to manage all the necessary protocol to keep employees and the public safe, and at the same time, break even and not take more losses.

“Nevertheless, I am happy that many companies can begin to generate revenue.

They were shut down for months, only to reopen one day and close again due to threats of vandalism,” she noted.

“The marches and protests are needed and our business are supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and want to be involved. But they are also stretched to the max – they need immediate relief.”

Morrill is hopeful about more jobs coming to the area.

“Some businesses have received PPP loans allowing them to rehire. With the recent amendment to the PPP loan policy, this has been a much needed adjustment to allow rehiring to happen,” she claimed.

Weho Bars, Restaurants, Jobs

Wendy Tuttle.

West Hollywood restaurants and bars are opening with cautious optimism, warns hospitality recruiter Wendy Tuttle.

“They will be assessing the demand and hiring/bringing back staff appropriately. Most are chomping at the bit to get back to work. There are others that may have underlying health issues or live with family members that might be hesitant to return out of fear of contracting Covid-19.”

Tuttle’s clients are “anxiously waiting” receiving those calls to come back to work.

“My people want to hear ‘we’re open. We have all the plans in place to keep you and guests safe.’ so that they can get back to work, doing what they love—creating great food, while offering an amazing experience with friends, family and community.”

Restaurants like Conservatory are looking at fully opening their venues, with a full food and beverage menu, servers, a host/hostess.

“Conservatory is excited about opening up to the community again, and are taking every measure to ensure safety for our employees and guests,” said owner Paul Kalt.

Kait feels “lucky” that the restaurant’s street-side cafe with a pick up window has been open.

“That has allowed guests to enjoy keeping their daily routines for coffee, cocktails and food, take out and delivery. While we have very much missed our full restaurant capabilities, we have been able to maintain continued service and as much of a sense of normalcy as possible, during these unprecedented times.”

For Pride Month, Conservatory have created specialty cocktails for the month of June. For their For The Love Wins package—all six cocktails offered in a package for $70– a percentage of proceeds will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign.

George Figares, general manager at Fiesta Cantina Weho is equally thrilled to be back. ‘WeHo has been dark for too long and we are happy to bring back Fiesta to WeHo!” They offer a 4-8 PM happy hour everyday.

Making sure guests feel comfortable is Figares’ number one priority.

“First and foremost, public safety is our top priority. Keeping everyone safe throughout our reopening is essential. We want everyone to come out and enjoy the community, but in a way that does not encourage the spread of the pandemic.”

Fiesta Cantina has the most delicious nachos. (Photo by Susan Hornik)

He continued: “We are hopeful that with following the strict guidelines set by the State and County Health departments that we will be able to operate in a way that is safe for our employees and guests.”

Many bars in West Hollywood have found a way to open, serving food and observing social distancing rules.  Rocco’s, The Abbey, Beaches, Fiesta Cantina and others have reopened with social distancing rules in place and food as the centerpiece.

David Cooley, owner of West Hollywood’s famed bar and restaurant, The Abbey, was on hand to welcome customers on the first post-lockdown day of business. (Photo by Troy Masters)

David Cooley recently told the Los Angeles Blade, “We scan everyone’s temperature, require masks and have social distance table rules in place,” he said.

On a recent mid-day walk through WeHo, every bar we visited was strictly imposing the new rules, too. But the crowds are huge. At least one such business has been cited for being over-capacity since implementation of the new reduced census rules.

Weho Stores

“RJ  Holguin, director of marketing and outreach at My 12 Step Store, has mixed feelings about Weho businesses reopening.

“I’m in favor but I think it’s best to move forward with great caution. People are so anxious to be out that they are willing to take a risk,” Holguin said.

RJ Holguin (Photo by Paulo Murillo)

The store has remained open online and that has been Holguin’s saving grace.

“We are now open for instore purchase with all the guidelines, but still recommend people to order online and pick up or use our curbside service. It’s very challenging to maintain in store shopping with the regulations and operate with less employees.”

Last summer, the store was expanded, to offer a better shopping experience.

“In order to meet our expectations, we needed to increase our in store sales by 30% which we started to, during the holiday season. But by the end of March, we were losing 100% of our in store sales due to the shutdown, which has been a huge financial hit,” said Holguin.

While it has been “a year of lemons,” Holguin has constantly found ways to make a joyful lemonade.

“We have provided a weekly post to our blog on the emotional effects on 12-step recovery, and offered free meeting chips to newcomers in the area. Our Facebook page has constant updates on our outreach program,” he said proudly.

During the Black Lives Matters protests, Holguin and his team painted support graffiti on their store. Protesters stopped to take pictures and offered words of support.

West Hollywood dogs haven’t yet gotten the green light to be able to play together but grooming services are available in day cares like Dog-E-Den.

“We miss our staff, our customers and the dogs who we have come to know and love to care for,” said owner Gene Barash.

The pandemic made it impossible to operate for about two months and Barash had to fully close the store. “We began reopening with reduced days/hours, but then the protests required us to close down for a few days. Thankfully, they have been very peaceful after the first few days, so we reopened again yesterday. We have a pretty high level of confidence that the protests won’t have a disruptive impact on our business.”

Over the past 3 months, Barash has received a lot of calls and emails from customers letting them know that they are looking forward to the daycare reopening and can’t wait to be able to bring their dogs in again.

“We are really appreciative of their support and encouragement and consider ourselves lucky to have such positivity coming from our community, especially in these incredibly challenging times.”

Gyms have not yet been able to open, but Brendon Ayanbadejo, President of Fitness at West Coast Fitness, the franchisee of Orangetheory Fitness, has been hard at work getting his studios ready.

“We can’t wait to open our Weho studio and the rest of our locations across California. The health and safety of our team and members is always our number one priority. We also know that health, fitness, physical activity and community are vital for a healthy immune system and mental health. So we feel excited and ready to get people back doing what they love once we get the green light.”

The state of CA announced last week guidelines of a state re-opening date of 6/12 for gyms and fitness studios.

“However, the county decides when we will be allowed to open, based on their assessment of health, risk, etc.” he explained. “We are digesting the state guidelines and waiting to hear from county health and govt representatives on specific dates when we will be allowed to open each studio.”

Economically having their business closed has of course been a challenge, stated . Ayanbadejo. “But, we are in the same boat as so many others. Beyond any economic impact the pandemic and especially here in our home of Los Angeles the protests in support of Black Lives Matter have elevated our community and opened our collective eyes to the role and responsibility we need to play.



The Abbey’s owner acquires commercial district on Fire Island NY

Included in the acquisition are ten buildings over two acres along 320 feet of Fire Island Pines’ main pedestrian thoroughfare



Courtesy of Tristan Schukraft

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Tech entrepreneur and hospitality visionary Tristan Schukraft is expanding his portfolio of iconic LGBTQ+ venues with the acquisition of 75% of the Fire Island Pines commercial district, one of the most celebrated queer community hubs in the United States.

The purchase includes a variety of businesses including the Pavilion nightclub, The Blue Whale, the Canteen, a hotel and pool deck, retail shops, and docks, all considered the heart of Fire Island’s vibrant gay community. The currently non-operational hotel will be renovated and transformed into The Tryst Fire Island, the third location for Tristan’s budding luxury hotel brand for gay travelers.

Schukraft, CEO of Tryst Hospitality and MISTR, is on a clear mission, telling the WeHo Times: “Fire Island Pines has been a queer hub for multiple generations of the LGBT community. As businesses and neighborhoods turn over, it’s important for the next generation of gay entrepreneurs to invest in our communities, preserve our culture and help them thrive as safe havens for the LGBT community.”

Included in the acquisition are ten buildings over two acres along 320 feet of Fire Island Pines’ main pedestrian thoroughfare, including the only hotel zoned within the Pine’s commercial district. All the businesses will operate as planned for the 2024 season.

This fall, Tryst Hospitality will invest in thoughtful enhancements to these properties, focusing on elevating the guest experience while maintaining the Fire Island Pines as a world-class LGBTQ+ travel destination. The most significant investment will include a major renovation to the hotel, which will open as The Tryst Fire Island in time for the 2025 season.

Tryst Hospitality and its brands are part of Tristan’s vision for a global portfolio of gay businesses that champion diversity, luxury, and adventure. Tristan founded MISTR, which provides free online PrEP across the United States to more than 300,000 patients. 

He launched Tryst Hotels, a luxury brand catering to the discerning tastes of gay travelers, that are located the most iconic LGBTQ+ travel destinations. Tryst Hotels encourage you to be your best self, even on your worst behavior.

The Tryst Puerto Vallarta will open this Summer in the heart of the Zona Romántica and begin taking reservations in the next few weeks. The Tryst San Juan is open now but will begin extensive renovations later this year. Fire Island will become the brand’s third location in 2025.

Tristan owns and operates The Abbey Food & Bar and The Chapel in West Hollywood, the iconic gay nightlife venue, twice named the best Gay Bar in the World, frequented by A-List talent and neighborhood regulars alike, and named the top nightlife drop off and pick up point in the world for both Uber and Lyft.

This fall, Tristan will re-open a newly renovated Circo, a well-known LGBTQ+ nightlife venue in San Juan, Puerto Rico walking distance to The Tryst San Juan. In the coming months, Tristan will announce more acquisitions as he expands his company and truly embraces the moniker “the CEO of everything gay.”

For more information and to sign up to be one of the first to book your stay, please visit and follow @trysthotels on social media.


Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

The preceding article was previously published at WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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Walt Disney company shareholders reject anti-trans policy

Anti-trans activist Chloe Cole, who opposes gender-affirming care for minors and supports bans on such care addressed shareholders



Partners is a 1993 copper statue by Blaine Gibson depicting Walt Disney holding the hand of the most popular character he created, Mickey Mouse. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company)

BURBANK, Calif. – The annual Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting took on a contentious environment Wednesday as far right anti-trans activists attempted to push through a measure that would force Disney to pay for services for transgender people who choose to detransition.

Anti-trans activist and California resident, 19-year-old Chloe Cole, who opposes gender-affirming care for minors and supports bans on such care following her own detransition, has traveled across the nation testifying in legislative hearings, addressed shareholders.

“Disney pays for gender transition interventions, but not detransitioning care,” Cole said.“ Therefore, the company discriminates based on gender identity, under [government] regulations.”

Los Angeles based journalist Lil Kalish reported that Cole spoke as an advocate for Do No Harm, a group of conservative medical professionals who are skeptical of gender-affirming care, and presented the proposal on behalf of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative group that challenges what they see as abuse and corruption in government and business.

Kalish noted that lawmakers in Florida, which is home to the Walt Disney World Resort, recently failed to pass a bill that would force state insurance plans to cover “detransition treatments.” Other states have tried to pass laws that create a private cause of action for patients and families to sue medical facilities.

According to Kalish, the anti-transgender proposal was one of several advanced by far right conservatives. One shareholder proposal targeted the company’s contributions to politicians who support anti-abortion laws and former President Donald Trump’s stolen election claims. Another from the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Disney shareholder, urged the company to disclose its charitable contributions of $5,000 or more and criticized Disney for pursuing “radical gender ideology” by contributing to organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community, such as GLSEN and the Trevor Project.

Ultimately the board rejected these proposals.

During the course of the meeting, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger defeated hedge fund activist investor Nelson Peltz of Trian Partners. The New York Times reported Trian had spent $25 million to get shareholders to vote for its two board candidates. Iger’s victory ended the months-long fighting over the future direction of the entertainment giant.

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Out LA Dodgers executive & husband buy GYM Sportsbar & Grill

Eric Braverman, an openly gay executive, oversees the Dodgers’ PRIDE Business Resource Group & launched the club’s first Pride Night in 2013



GYM Sportsbar and Grill West Hollywood (Photo by Ed Uyelp)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Erik Braverman, the openly gay senior vice president of the Los Angeles Dodgers, his husband Jonathan Cottrell, and other investors under Bravecoot Ventures LLC, are on the verge of acquiring Gym Sportsbar and Grill in West Hollywood located at 8919 Santa Monica Blvd (also known as Gym Bar).

The purchase is currently pending approval according to the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

Braverman is in his 14th year with the Dodgers and has had a major impact on the growth of the Dodger brand as it continues to expand beyond the world of baseball. In his role as Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Broadcasting, Braverman manages the Dodgers’ local and national broadcast relationships and directs the club’s marketing and communications initiatives, helping drive ticket sales and place the club in a position to lead the Majors in attendance each of the last seven years.

He also oversees the club’s internal productions, creative efforts and the Dodgers’ social media, which has set the standard for fan engagement and grown to become one of the most followed teams in baseball across all platforms.

An openly gay executive, Braverman oversees the Dodgers’ PRIDE Business Resource Group and launched the club’s first Pride Night in 2013, which has helped foster the team’s strong year-round relationship with the LGBTQ community and grown into the most well-attended annual event of its kind in all of sports.

Braverman resides in West Hollywood with his husband, Jonathan Cottrell. They both exchanged vows in front of close friends and family at Dodgers Stadium on January 2022.

“Jonathan and I are excited to share this news publicly,” reads a post on Braverman’s instagram account regarding their purchase of Gym Sportsbar. “We would also like to take a moment to recognize and thank our incredible partners, without whom this would not be possible. They all share the same enthusiasm and passion that we do for GYM Sportsbar and Grill West Hollywood.”

In a joint statement, Braverman and Cottrell expressed their dedication to preserving and enhancing Gym Sportsbar’s legacy, envisioning it as a beacon of community, diversity, and excellence in West Hollywood. They emphasized their goal of creating an inclusive space that respects the past while embracing the future, fostering connections and camaraderie among patrons, according to OUTSPORTS.

Gym Sportsbar dates back to 2005 when it first opened as Gym Bar in NY. The WeHo location first opened in October 2, 2009 at 8737 Santa Monica Boulevard. It closed at that location shortly after celebrating 10 years in 2022. It reopened a few blocks away at its current location as Gym Sportsbar and Grill in 2021.

Rick Schmutzler, one of the founders of Gym Sportsbar, expressed confidence in Braverman and Cottrell, stating they are well-positioned to lead Gym Sportsbar into the future with new partnerships and opportunities, reports OUTSPORTS. With over a decade of operation in Los Angeles and a recent relocation to West Hollywood, Schmutzler is stepping away from the business, trusting Braverman and Cottrell to guide its trajectory.

Operating a bar entails significant effort, but Braverman and Cottrell affirm their readiness for the task ahead, supported by their entire investment team.


Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.


The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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CBS News: Mitchell Gold’s furniture went bankrupt, here’s how

The company became an American success story until last month, when the company went bankrupt. Now, $50 million dollars have vanished



Furniture company co-founder Mitchell Gold being interviewed by CBS News correspondent Brook Silva-Braga. (Screenshot/YouTube CBS News)

TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. – In 1989, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams founded a furniture store bearing their names. The company became an American success story until last month, when the company went bankrupt. Now, $50 million in customer deposits have vanished.

CBS Saturday Morning’s Brook Silva-Braga has the story.

“CBS Saturday Morning” co-hosts Jeff Glor, Michelle Miller and Dana Jacobson deliver two hours of original reporting and breaking news, as well as profiles of leading figures in culture and the arts. Watch “CBS Saturday Morning” at 7 a.m. ET on CBS and 8 a.m. ET on the CBS News app.

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Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture co. abruptly shuts down

The furniture manufacturing and retail company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, named after the two gay businessmen who founded the firm



Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. – The furniture manufacturing and retail company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, named after the two gay businessmen who founded the firm in 1989 before selling it in 2015, announced last week that it is shutting down all its operations due to a sudden loss of financing.

During the years of Gold and Williams’s ownership, the company expanded its operations from a single furniture store in D.C. to the operation of 24 high-end furniture stores across the country and three furniture factories in North Carolina.

Gold couldn’t immediately be reached by the Washington Blade for comment.

The Washington Post reported that many of the company’s estimated 800 employees received word of the shutdown and their impending layoff over the past weekend through a letter posted at the company’s factories and stores by the Stephens Group, a Little Rock, Ark., equity firm that bought the company from Gold and Williams in 2015.

“Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to continue business operations,” the Post quotes the letter as saying. “As you may know, the current economic climate has presented significant challenges to the furniture industry… [The company] has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to secure critical financing to continue business operations,” the letter states.

According to reports by the Post and the furniture industry publications Furniture Today and Business Of Home, Gold and Williams initially sold the company in 1998 to Rowe Furniture in an arrangement that allowed them to continue managing the company’s operations.

The Post report says the two men, who originally named the company Mitchell Gold, bought the company back in 2002 with a group of New York investors and renamed it Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Williams and Gold sold the company once again in 2015 to the Stephens Group while remaining on the company’s board and in company management.

The media reports about the shutdown say Gold, 72, retired in 2019, and Williams, 61, retired in 2022. The Post reports that the two men still sit on the board as observers.

Furniture Today reports that Gold served as board chair emeritus after his 2019 retirement and “reengaged with the company” earlier this year to support company CEO Chris Moye.

“I was devastated and in shock. Both Bob and I are,” Gold told the Post in recounting his feelings upon learning of the shutdown. “And if I had to use one word, it’s heartbroken.”

An employee who answered the phone at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store in D.C. at 1526 14th Street, N.W., told the Blade on Wednesday that a liquidation sale of the store’s merchandise would take place Saturday, Sept. 2.

Often with Gold acting as host, the upscale D.C. store has opened its doors for LGBTQ events, including fundraising events for local and national LGBTQ organizations.

Gold and Williams have been credited with emerging as advocates for LGBTQ equality during their years living in North Carolina while operating the company’s main furniture factory in rural Taylorsville, N.C. In 2005, Gold founded the LGBTQ organization Faith in America with the mission of combating “religious-based bigotry” targeting the LGBTQ community.

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Outdoor retailer The North Face affirms commitment to inclusivity

The North Face released its new Pride month collection earlier this week, and included a video featuring drag queen Pattie Gonia



'Summer of Pride' advertising campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

DENVER, CO. – After a targeted campaign by far-right transphobic and homophobic groups and individuals on social media platforms aimed at American outdoor recreation products company The North Face, for its LGBTQ+ ‘Summer of Pride’ advertising, the Denver-based company responded affirming its commitment to LGBTQ+ and allied consumers.

“The North Face has always believed the outdoors should be a welcoming, equitable and safe place for all,” the company said in a statement, pointing out that the ‘Summer of Pride’ series is now in its second year and has helped “individuals from all backgrounds experience the outdoors.”

“Creating community and belonging in the outdoors is a core part of our values and is needed now more than ever. We stand with those who support our vision for a more inclusive outdoor industry.”

The North Face released its new Pride month collection earlier this week, and included a video featuring drag queen Pattie Gonia, whose appearance set off the firestorm of homophobia and anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech.

In a statement, LGBTQ+ media advocacy group GLAAD responded:

“Including LGBTQ people and holding true to your corporate values is good for business. The North Face is following hundreds of other businesses that include and stand with LGBTQ people and our allies. At a time when over 20% of Gen Z is LGBTQ and a supermajority of Americans support LGBTQ people, The North Face’s decision should be a signal to other companies that including LGBTQ people and allies is better for business than siding with a small number of violent extremists who want to keep LGBTQ consumers and employees invisible.”

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Comcast: NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell gone, cites improprieties

“Today is my last day […] I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret. I’m truly sorry”



Jeff Shell, former Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal (Los Angeles Blade graphic)

PHILADELPHIA- Global media and technology giant Comcast announced Sunday that the Company and Jeff Shell, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal, have mutually agreed that he will depart effective immediately following the Company’s investigation led by outside counsel into a complaint of inappropriate conduct.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret. I’m truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they are the most talented people in the business and the opportunity to work with them the last 19 years has been a privilege,” Shell said in a statement.

Variety reported that a successor to Shell has not been named. Shell’s senior team will now report directly to Mike Cavanagh, president of Comcast Corporation.

In a memo that sent shockwaves through the company, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts and Cavanagh wrote, “We are disappointed to share this news with you. We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You should count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace. When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”

Comcast is a major employer in Southern California employing thousands with Xfinity/Comcast, as well as producing, distributing, and streaming entertainment, sports, and news through platforms including NBC, Telemundo, Universal, Peacock, and Sky.

The company also runs theme parks and attractions through Universal Destinations & Experiences including its Universal Studios Hollywood.

Shell was named Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal in January 2020.

In a bio posted the company website, the company also noted he had previously served as Chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment from 2013 to 2019. Over the course of his tenure, Universal celebrated four years of record profit, and the two most profitable years in the studio’s 107- year history with titles from some of its biggest franchises such as Fast & Furious, Jurassic World and Illumination’s Despicable Me. Additionally, the company acquired DreamWorks Animation in 2016.

Prior to joining UFEG, Shell served as Chairman of NBCUniversal International and previously served as President of Comcast Programming Group.

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Knott’s Berry Farm is planning to hire 2,500 seasonal employees 

The weeklong job fair will be held at Knott’s Berry Farm Feb. 18 until Feb. 24. Interviews will take place daily between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.



Courtesy of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

BUENA PARK, Calif. – As the new Spring and Summer seasonal events ready to launch, Knott’s Berry Farm announced that it is hiring 2,500 seasonal employees.

Parent company Cedar Fair Entertainment Company announced in a press release Monday that this is the largest hiring campaign for all of its parks as it plans to add approximately 35,000 seasonal associates to help staff its parks in 2023.

The company anticipates filling up to 80% of those roles – or 28,000 jobs – during a week-long hiring blitz to be held across all its parks in the United States and Canada Feb. 18-24. It promises to be the largest recruiting event in Cedar Fair’s history.

The weeklong job fair will be held at Knott’s Berry Farm from Feb. 18 until Feb. 24. Interviews will take place daily between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Courtesy of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Knott’s Berry Farm will be hiring for a variety of positions, including:

  • Ride operators 
  • Food and Beverage
  • Lifeguards and Aquatics
  • Security
  • And many more roles.

The hourly pay ranges from $16 to $19 and those with prior experience can earn even more, according to a company news release.

“Our seasonal associates play an important role in our mission of delivering amazing experiences to all of our guests,” said Tim Fisher, Cedar Fair chief operating officer. “We’re proud to offer highly competitive wages and amazing perks, and a seasonal job at one of our parks can offer so much more than other workplaces. You can gain valuable experience, develop marketable skills for the future, and make new friends in a fun and unique environment while being part of something truly special. Our parks offer a job that’s fun for everyone, with a variety of shifts to meet the needs of those interested in full-time, part-time, seasonal and occasional work hours.”

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Black Joy, a fat body candle celebration for Black History Month

Morgan creates trans inclusive, gender-free candles that allow people to see their bodies, & the bodies of people they love in accessible art



Photo courtesy of Jodyann Morgan (Photo by McKenna Patterson)

MILWAUKEE – A Black, queer owned candle company based in Milwaukee, founded by Jodyann Morgan in November of 2021, has quickly become an internet sensation, with many prominent plus size, Black, and LGBTQ influencers sharing the candles on their social media platforms.

To celebrate Black History Month, the company’s founder launched the Black Joy collection. Trauma, death and sorrow are deeply intertwined with the Black lived experience, Morgan says but Black joy is critical to survival. Her Black Joy collection pays tribute to Black creativity, expression, excellence, and euphoria.

Her company, CTOAN, is best known for gender free body sculpture candles that are size fat, and also occasionally offers tealights, mini fat body wax melts and luxurious jarred candles. The company prides itself in giving back to the community with a portion of sales from every collection donated to various causes.

Morgan in a press release stated that she never dreamed of owning a small business. With over a decade of sport and entertainment security under her belt, she was simply in search of a hobby when she started making candles in early 2021.

By November 13th of that year she had a website, a business name, a kitchen full of candle making supplies, and an eager community celebrating her business launch with a flood of orders. In March of 2022, after celebrating her 35th birthday, she left her security job to be a full time business owner. 

Morgan creates lovingly hand poured, trans inclusive, gender-free candles (including 7 original designs!) that allow people to see their bodies, and the bodies of people they love, in accessible art.

Photo courtesy of Jodyann Morgan (Photo by McKenna Patterson)

This past November, her company celebrated one year of loudly and proudly creating art that makes a difference.

Her candles have been featured in national and local media, by celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Tess Holliday, and by dozens of the most popular influencers of all body types, genders, and backgrounds.

Morgan is married to Chaya Milchtein aka The Mechanic Shop Femme, a queer automotive influencer. Their wedding was featured in the New York Times.

The Black Joy collection will be available in two colorways:

  • The first is a layered candle in the colors of the pan african flag – green, yellow and red – evoking freedom from colonialism and tyranny. Being from Jamaica, this colorway was a familiar sight for Jodyann. 
  • Jodyann’s second design is pink, teal and yellow, in a hand painted floral print. The leopard print candle is a celebration of maximalism – an exaltation of Black trans women, cis women and femmes living loudly and proudly, consequences be damned.

The candles come in three complex scents:

  • Figs & Molasses
  • Floral Euphoria
  • Cocoa Butter Cashmere 

Each candle will cost $35. 

With a focus on giving back, last year Morgan donated over $4100 to mutual aid funds and non profits serving her communities. Her Black Joy collection continues the tradition, with $2 from every candle being donated to Roots & River Productions, which produces the work of queer and trans Black artists. 

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Frontier Airlines announces “all-you-can-fly” summer pass

Airline welcomed a new plane to its fleet, Hamber the California Condor, named after Jan Hamber, an American ornithologist & conservationist



Courtesy of Frontier Airlines

DENVER – Frontier Airlines announced a new “all-you-can-fly” summer pass this week.

It costs $399 and includes nearly unlimited flights between May and September. There are currently more than 100 destinations. Flights will cost 1 cent plus taxes and fees for pass-holders. This includes charges for seats or checked baggage.

Frontier also plans to add new non-stop services between multiple cities and Puerto Rico this summer. Flights will be available to book starting May 2.

The airline also unveiled its latest tribute aircraft- Hamber the California Condor.

The California condor is the largest flying bird in North America. Their wings stretch nearly 10 feet from tip to tip. Hamber is named after Jan Hamber, an American ornithologist and conservationist. While working at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History in the 1970s, she became involved in the effort to save the California condor. She played a significant role in the condor’s survival in the wild.

In a statement released on social media, the airlines said: “Frontier is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, protecting the environment, and bringing awareness to incredible animals, such as Hamber, who need our help.”

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