How it started:

It’s not a boardroom, there’s no conference table or uncomfortable chairs and there are clearly no suits. It’s just another day in paradise. It’s Douglas, Michigan, a hot September day and three friends are unwinding after a day of moving furniture. Of course, there are the requisite margaritas and pizza underscoring the brainstorming and the abundance of laughter.

From this fun infused “What if?” backdrop would emerge a life altering idea. It was this setting, this day in 1998 when partners Mike Jones, Danny Esterline and Greg Tryzbinski came up with the idea to buy a gay bar.

Many dream but few dare and margaritas add the needed perspective. According to Jones, “We were at points in our lives where it just seemed right. Maybe you shouldn’t eat pizza, drink margaritas and try to plan your life, but you just never know what’s going to happen.”

The next day, idea in mind, no plan on paper, and amazingly hangover free, the three amigos called their friend, and realtor, Lynda Holmes who began moving their idea towards realization. The rest of their lives were about to change, as was the gay scene in the Midwest.

Nine months later, on May 26, 1999, the trio took ownership of The Douglas Dunes, renaming it The Dunes Resort and now referred to by most as simply The Dunes.

Today, 37 years later, through hard work and an unwavering dedication to providing the best in service, hospitality and perpetuating a gay safe haven, The Dunes Resort is the largest gay resort and entertainment complex in the Midwest, and no doubt one of the five biggest in the United States.

In the summer of 2010, Bump! (Logo TV’s first gay and lesbian travel and lifestyle TV series) visited and toured the communities of Saugatuck and Douglas and then told their audience of more than 30 million viewers that The Dunes is, without question, western Michigan’s premier gay and lesbian vacation destination while being the pinnacle of the gay Saugatuck/Douglas community.

The Dunes Resort is a popular destination with most guests coming from Chicago and Detroit, followed by Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis. Located two and a half hours by car from Chicago and three hours from Detroit, the Dunes complex sprawls over 22 acres, with 81 hotel rooms and six bars, including western Michigan’s largest gay dance bar and a cabaret with live entertainment and a game room, plus a fantastic view friendly outdoor patio bar and a larger than large pool and pool bar.

“The Dunes can be a lot of different things for a lot of different people. To me, it’s a little slice of heaven in the middle of western Michigan where it’s traditionally pretty conservative,” said Jones.

They’re a diverse trio, personal and professional partners, who work together like a well-tuned machine to make The Dunes a great place. Jones, is an Indiana native, who earned a hospitality degree from Purdue University, then lived in Chicago and worked at a design magazine before spreading his entrepreneurial wings. Esterline, has a political background and serves as the “I can fix anything man.” Trzybinski, comes from a banking background and takes care of everything financial. ”

In addition to being considered a gay institution in the Midwest, The Dunes Resort is also a family affair. Sharon, Mike’s mom is Head of Housekeeping, and makes certain good order is kept and the premises immaculate. Of course, all the time beaming with pride over what her son and his partners have accomplished

Jones, with a ready smile and enthusiasm shining from behind his eyes, sums it up simply by saying, “It all works.”

Almost 80 percent of the clientele is gay men. During the two annual women’s weekends, the mix changes and the resort become about 90 percent women. All in all, the normal mix is 50 percent singles, 50 percent couples. And, yes, that includes straight, gay-friendly customers—especially since The Dunes regularly hosts events for various communities, ranging from leather to lesbian.

Guests at The Dunes are truly a rainbow with every flavor represented: circuit kids, couples, retirees, twinks, bears, lesbians and so many more. “At the end of our first summer , I got emotional. I was looking around, everyone was having fun and then I thought, ‘Wow, this is ours.’ That was a little overwhelming,” Jones said

The Dunes Resort is a special gay getaway “People from all walks of life come here to find themselves, lose themselves, but most importantly, to be themselves. You can be gay, straight, old or young, and feel comfortable here,” Jones commented.

“We have a lot of stories of people who have met their partners here and now plan their vacations here on an annual basis,” Jones said. “Whether 21 or 85, it’s home, it’s welcoming and anyone can come to The Dunes and have a good time. For the local gay community The Dunes is Ground Zero, it’s home.

The resort offers a kaleidoscope of entertainment, from raucous to romantic. From GoGo Boys to live entertainment in the cabaret to great DJs to a quiet romantic weekend, The Dunes makes it happen for their guests. The variety of offerings tailored to varied tastes, is among the many reasons people return year after year after year.

The Dunes Resort kicked off its 2018 season—its 37th year—in early May with the a Masquerade Ball. Every weekend in the sunny summer months create a reason to be at the Dunes. For those looking for the biggest crowds, the big three include Memorial Day weekend with DJ Phil B was the seasons first, followed the annual Red White on Blue Star event, held over Independence Day weekend, which featured appearances by DJ Paulo, DJ Barry Harris, DJ Cindel, DJ Roland Belmares and DJ Ralphi Rosario. Lastly the Summer’s Going To Come Again party over Labor Day weekend will incorporate DJ Alex Acosta and DJ Dan Slater. Plus, every weekend in the Spring Summer and Fall guarantees a good time.

It’s a really great place where life is lived and enjoyed without pretense. Speaking for the partners, Jones truly believes that “everyone who comes here feels good and feels comfortable. You can be sitting at the bar with lesbians on one side, a cross-dresser on the other side and everyone is just having fun. “He went on to say that “This is a very welcoming place, regardless of what you like, what you don’t like, how much money you make, how much money you don’t make, what you’re wearing, etc.”

Today’s Dunes Resort is rich with history from the original Douglas Dunes which was opened in 1981 by Carl Jennings and Larry Gammons to welcome curious gay men and women to Douglas (Saugatuck) Michigan. What grew into The Douglas Dunes was an idea that took shape at what was the drive-in Amity Motel. Today’s Dunes, a continuation of the good memories, is much different than the original 22 hotel rooms, restaurant, and lobby bar with summer-only outside dancing.

The current partners hold Carl and Larry in high esteem and believe it was their love for the area combined with a desire to have people explore and visit this beautiful little community that was one of the basic reasons for creating The Dunes.

Jennings and Gammons still reside in the Douglas community. Throughout the years, under their guidance, entertainers in fields spanning every format from pop and porn have appeared. Answering varied tastes has resulted in a nightlife that defies eclectic and a dance floor running the gamut from progressive to hard-rock music.

Expressing the thoughts of his partners, Jones said, “Our guests are very important to us, they are the backbone of our business and because of them our business has grown every year. We listen to what they tell us and use their thoughts to make our product better every year. Absolutely, it can still be stressful at times, but it’s still so much fun. I wake up every morning and just think that I’m so blessed.”

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July falls smack within the middle of the week this year, making it the perfect time to plan a weekend-to-weekend getaway to an all-LGBT resort just a couple hours away from Chicago.

A favorite vacation hot spot, The Dunes Resort is pulling out all the stops for an incredible ten days of summer with non-stop parties and events.

“We’ll kick off the 4th of July weekend on Friday, June 29th,” says Mike Jones, co-owner of the Dunes Resort.

“On Saturday we have Hector Fonseca. Sunday is the first Tea Dance of the holiday and DJ Grind will be here. We’re always excited to see him again.”

“Every day of the week we have a pool party. On Wednesday we have our 4th of July Tea Dance with Ralphi Rosario. Then on Thursday night we have Chicago DJ Cindel, and then on Friday, we have Porn at the Pool, which is something that we started with Chi Chi La Rue about twelve years ago. This year, we’ll have Falcon stars with Roland Belmares spinning.”

“Saturday night we have DJ Paulo; and Sunday, to end the weekend, we have Barry Harris.”

The impressive line-up includes cabaret favorites Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen, who have been performing together for 23 years and will also be performing that weekend.

Owners Mike Jones, Danny Esterline and Greg Trzybinski, who purchased the Douglas Resort almost two decades ago, have created an inviting family atmosphere that beckons visitors to come to the resort and the surrounding Saugatuck-Douglas lakefront area year after year.

“We’re just an element of what makes the community amazing,” Jones says. “We have a beautiful beach and great restaurants. And on Friday nights, the Ox-Bow, the summer art school for the Chicago Art Institute, it’s always led us to have an artsy, gay-friendly area. They have an open house to go and view and meet the young artists for the summer, and that starts this Friday.”

“The Center for the Arts starts its first production next week and it’s a professional theater, and it’s in our own little town. Their first show of the year is Mamma Mia!

In addition to the Fourth of July weekends, the Dunes has some amazing events planned for the rest of the summer.

“For what we do, the pool is always the hot spot for us. We have themed weekends every week, and there’s always a different theme behind what we’re planning. That gives people an excuse to be a little crazy in what they do and what they wear. Right now Christmas in July is the weekend of July 21st, and people come year after year after year. There’s a group of them that plan the theme, and this year’s theme is “Hard Candy Christmas.” They’ll decorate all of their hotel rooms, they’ll decorate the outside, the inside, and we’ll will put up Christmas trees. And they have this huge Christmas parade with insane outfits and that’s on Sunday during Tea.”

“Then we have a Venetian weekend. We have Porn weekend that we partner with a studio and bring some porn stars here. We have a Mardi Gras weekend. We have a White Party weekend that partners with an LGBT organization to raise money and gives it away in the name of the LGBT community.”

“We have a big Labor Day with Dan Slater and Alex Acosta. We’re busy in the Fall and it’s beautiful with the changing of the colors. We have a big antique car show one weekend. We partner with Grab Magazine another weekend. We have a transgender weekend. We have a bear weekend.”

“Halloween is one of the busiest weekends in all of Saugatuck-Douglas. Douglas has an adult parade and we’re the official after party for the parade. It’s literally as busy as any Saturday in July. It’s something that people come and say, “I’m coming to Halloween every year.” It’s insane.”

If you’ve never been to the Dunes Resort – or haven’t visited in a few years – it’s well worth taking a weekend to check out the resort this summer.

“We try really hard to continue to invest in the property so that when people have missed a season, or even if they come every year, something is noticeable. Whether it’s the new pool cabanas, the new façade on the building, a new Tea Dance deck, a new Cane Building or room renovations, our goal is to keep our customers surprised,” says Jones.

“We have customers who save all year and this is their one vacation. That means something to us,” Jones added. “In everything we do, we try to remember that.”

“We take a lot of pride in this place, and we take a lot of pride in being welcoming to everybody, including straight people. There are so many gays from small towns, gays and lesbians, transgenders that don’t have the opportunity to express themselves at home or can’t express themselves at work and we try to give them a venue where they can. They can be exactly who they want to be and no one will judge them.”

“I think that’s what the legacy of the Dunes will always be – an opportunity for people to come and just be who they are.”

To start planning your summer weekends and for more information about the Dunes Resort and all of their upcoming events, visit the Dunes Resort website and follow the Dunes Resort on Facebook or @dunesresort on Twitter.

More from Dragon:

I think it’s safe to say our ends are all a bit looser after Loose Ends weekend. Hope you all have recovered from Saturday’s after party with the stellar and sexy lineup of DJs we had here from all across the country!

Hopefully everyone has enjoyed the first half of June’s cool and misty weather, because we’re in for a whole month’s worth of hot and dry fun in the sun for the next 30 days according to local forecasts. Stock up on your sunscreen and head on out to our pool any day of the week, and remember you can always rent out a shady cabana if the sun gets too much for you!

This weekend at the Dunes is Sweaty Ball Weekend. This is the sister event to Detroit’s Snowball and benefits the Ruth Ellis Center, an LGBT youth shelter that does a lot of good in our community. The party takes place on Saturday, starting with a pool party during the day and moving onto our outdoor patio dance floor at night. The always hilarious Ricky and Kelly will be performing in the cabaret as well! And don’t forget to bring your bell bottoms and platforms for Sunday’s Classic Disco Tea Dance.

We still have a little availability this weekend, so give us a call before someone else snatches up the last rooms!

Memorial Weekend — AMAZING!

Summer is on it’s way and things are in full swing at the Dunes Resort! Memorial Day was memorable as always. The weather was awesome, the pool was teaming with people, and DJ Phil B packed out the dance floors for Holiday Tea. If you missed it, too bad, but you’ve got two more holidays this summer to come up, rent a room, and party on a three day weekend!

There are lots more events planned for this summer too. This weekend the resort will be taken over by DJ collective Loose Ends, featuring music by Shaun J Wright from Chicago based record label Twirl, Vicki Powell of Deep South ATL, Jeffrey Sfire of Detroit’s Macho City, Oscar Pineda from the San Fransico Eagle’s Pound Puppy pup nights, and of course Chicago’s DJ Harry Cross, who brought us the wild and sexy Men’s Room event here a couple years ago. It’s guaranteed to be a good time, so give us a call and make your reservations soon, the resort is expected to sell out fast for this one!

The new year came but the Dunes has stayed the same great LGBT resort you know and love, with a few upgrades, of course. We’ve kept things fresh around here with new light features in the main bar, new expanded stock in our swimwear & underwear gift shop, and a few fresh faces in our bar staff. Expect to hear more about our sexy bartenders, both newbies and veterans, in upcoming blog posts!

The Dunes Resort continues to be the Midwest’s largest and longest running LGBT resort, but as always anyone and everyone is welcome here. Our slogan for this year is “Hate has no home here”, and we’ll make sure that the Dunes Resort continues to hold true to this, making us a safe refuge for all who want to spend a few relaxing days partying and having fun! Call us at 269-857-1401 to make reservations, or just stop in anytime for a good time.

Dragon

Christmas In July 2017

Christmas In July 2017

Over the weekend at The Dunes Resort, we celebrated Christmas in July, one of our most anticipated weekends of the year. Christmas in July 2017 was our best ever. This festive weekend brings a devout group of regulars, as well as many first time guests.

The Dunes Gay Resort Pool at 2017 Christmas in July
We at The Dunes have been lucky to see the same faces over the course of decades. We hear time and time again from guests’ visiting Saugatuck-Douglas that their best experiences come from meeting new people from all over the country.

DJ Doug Spinning at the Dunes ResortThe weekend kicked off on Friday with acclaimed resident DJ, Doug Roberts, as he lit up the dance floor and world class cabaret performers, Kelly and Rick, bringing down the house in the cabaret. The Dunes provides a powerhouse of talent, and this weekend they delivered one hell of a show after another. The positive energy that our guests created has carried well into this week. This is a party that just doesn’t want to stop.

Saturday Morning at the pool at the Dunes LGBT Resort

Saturday morning at the pool was an experience not to be missed.
Beautiful men, fabulous women, and fierce drag queens were ready to keep the momentum alive…

Cheers and Glam at Christmas in July at TDR

Dunes Diva Dia Elektra getting sticky with Cotton Candy at the Dunes Gay ResortDunes Diva, Dia Elektra, rolled out with a cotton candy machine and things got really sticky. Candy shots, chocolate martinis, and sugar rimmed cocktails had everyone licking their fingers and posing for pictures. The only way to beat the heat was by jumping in the pool, where our cocktail servers were pouring even more cocktails. The Dunes Pool was the place to be, it just might be the happiest place on earth, for certain the Mid West.

Cotton Candy Cocktails Poolside at the Dunes Gay Resort

Saturday night was an epic nightclub experience, for guests as well as The Dunes team. Kelly and Rick are one of our favorite cabaret acts, their talent is matched by their class and they draw a crowd that doesn’t want the show to end. Saturday night Kelly delivered an encore performance that ended with entire room on their feet with applause. The beats DJ Doug provided were irresistible, even the owners couldn’t help but dance. And dance… And dance into Sunday Tea.

Decked from head to toe at the Dunes Resort Christmas in July 2017Our Christmas Tea is a favorite for many, especially one group of guests who have been at it for years. The Christmas parade from their hotel suites to the Tea Dance Deck is a sight to be seen, and every year brings a new theme. This year the theme was Bowlicious, and the costumes were a glorious mess of ribbon, garland, tinsel, and glitter.

The Sunday Tea Dance was the kind of festivity that only happens at The Dunes. Five hours of non stop dance anthems from Olivia Newton John’s Xanadu to Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. The party wasn’t over when the speakers pumped out Last Dance by Donna Summer; guests grabbed another cocktail from the bar and hit the cabaret for our Dunes Divas Drag Show.

A Christmas Gift with a Pink BowDunes Resort Show Director, Lavender LaRue, along with her ensemble cast of Drag Superstars shut it down! The Dunes Divas show cast, 2017 Miss Dunes, Jasinya Sanchez, Gabriella Stratton Galore, and Dia Elektra, along with Anna Mosity, and Emma Saphire slayed the stage with all star performances. Our girls are show stoppers, and they gave our guests everything they had to offer and left everyone begging for more.

Santa and friends at the Dunes Resort Christmas in JulyChristmas in July at The Dunes Resort was the place to be, and this week will provide more of the same magnetic energy. As Saugatuck-Douglas prepares for Venetian Weekend, we are getting ready to welcome back the legendary performer, Miss Conception, world renowned DJ, Ralphi Rosario, and we are busting out the pumps for another chance to strut our stuff at High Heel Tea.

 

We hope to see you all again soon,
and thanks for the memories!

A group of festively dressed staff and friends at The Dunes Resort Christmas in July 2017 event

Having fun at Christmas in July 2017 at TDRDeck the halls Christmas in July 2017 Dunes Resort

Christmas in July Long Johns at The Dunes Gay Resort

Christmas in July Cocktails

More fun at Christmas in July at The Dunes Resort 2017

Celebrating the season in the pool bar at The Dunes LGBT resort

Christmas in July 2017 staff members pose by the tree at the Dunes Resort

2017 Oh My!

2017 Oh My!

Follow the Dunes Resort on Snapchat

I swear yesterday we were celebrating the New Year. WTF?

Cheers and Happy New Year. He we are in mid-February and I know that the “season” will be upon us sooner than I want. Don’t get me wrong, I hate winter and I love season.. I’m just not feeling like I am anywhere close to being on schedule.

What is happening with us. We got new carpet in the original building building (18 standard rooms and 4 king rooms). We are getting new furniture in the king building (12 king rooms and 2 king suites). New carpet is planned for the main bar in late March. All the normal Spring cleaning, touch-ups, replacements, etc. that happen every year.. and though we had hoped to kick off this Cabaret season with phase 1 of a 2 phase complete remodel.. timing issues are in place and it looks like we will do phases 1 and 2 beginning in November for the Ppring 2018 season.

As many of you, Tarron Marrott, our long time front door personality, frequent pool security and Dunes Room Den Mother passed away in November. It was sudden and left all of us shocked. We will be having a Celebration of her life on Saturday April 8th from 3-5pm and we are planning a party fit for a Queen so we hope you can make it!!

We are also in the “we need summer help” phase, so if you, or someone you know is interested in a summer job, let us know. We will be hiring people for the front desk, bartenders, bar backs, door/security, kitchen, food running and housekeepers – yes basically all departments!

I hope to have the full events calendar in place and ready for print by the end of the month. We are close and it’s looking fun!

Already confirmed DJ’s:
Resident Doug
Matt Consola
Susan Morabito
Roland Belmares
Joe Gauthreaux
Jalil Z
Ralphi Rosario
Barry Harris
Phil B
Tony Moran

Confirmed in the Cabaret:
Amy & Freddy
Kelly & Rick
Hannaniah Whitley
Miss Conception
The Ruby Girls
The Dunes Divas
Branden & James (new from seeing in PV)
Sutten Lee Seymour (new from seeing in PV)

Whats coming up:
Euchre and Pot Luck continues every Thursday 6pm (till 3/30)
Bobbi on the Piano, Fridays 5-7p
Karaoke every Friday 9p (moves to Thursday 5/4)
Bingo on Sundays (till 4/30)

Men of Manwatch Saturday 3/11

Buns & Basket/MML Pre-IML Benefit with DJ Doug Saturday 3/18

Dunes Divas Show Saturday 3/15 (featuring from Season 8 RuPaul Drag Race – Naysha Lopez)

Ladies Night Out Saturday 4/1

TG Prom (King & Queen) Saturday 4/8

Mr. Dunes Leather Contest Saturday 4/18

Spring Furr Fest 4/21-4/23

36th Dunes Anniversary Masquerade Ball Saturday April 29

Okay my friends, that’s all I know for now.. more soon!
Mike @ The Dunes Resort

What’s New at the Dunes Resort

What’s New at the Dunes Resort

Hard to believe that today is July 16th. Yesterday was Memorial Day, I’m sure of it. July 4th came and went and I’m afraid that tomorrow will be Labor Day. This summer more than ever has FLOWN by so fast. So fast that I’m not sure any of us are really into the summer groove yet. About the time we get it down it will be time to plan costumes for Halloween.

The weather has been super. Despite some not so good forecasts, we’ve had an amazing first 1/2 of summer. Hot and dry, makes for some great pool days!

Memorial Day, if I remember.. was great. I do remember the weather was good as were the crowds.

July 4th weekend we had our busiest day ever on Sunday July 3rd.. and wow what a weekend.

The Employee Turnabout Show on Thursday July 7th we raised $3000 for Wishbone Pet Rescue, Eastern Michigan’s Equality Resource Center and Equality Florida’s Orlando Shooting’s Fund.

We’ve started up our weekly Wednesday Pool Cooks (5:30-7) and Bingo (6-8p) benefiting West Shore Aware. We’ve got another 3 Stripper Nights planned 7/19, 8/2 & 8/16 — we have a couple guys from the Men of Manwatch and they create a fun Amateur Stripper Night!
Karaoke is back on Thursday Nights 9p hosted by Noe. Friday’s always showcases a DJ, Men of Manwatch and live entertainment in the Cabaret. Saturday afternoon there is a DJ at the Pool and a DJ at Night, with live entertainment in the Cabaret. Sunday Tea Dances followed by the Dunes Divas Show in the Cabaret immediately following.

The Dunes pool is open daily as is the Blue Frog.

Lots coming up on the weekend:

Christmas in July:

Christmas In July 2016 at The Dunes Reosrt

With a special performance of the Ruby Girls outside on the Deck Saturday July 23

Rubi Girls Return to Saugatuck 2016 at The Dunes Reosrt

After that: Venetian, Pork and Mardi Gras Weekends:

Venetian, Pork, and Mardi Gras Weekend at The Dunes Resort 2016

Fri & Sat July 29 & 30, Miss Conception Returns to perform outside on the Deck both nights:

Miss Conception at The Dunes Resort 2016

White Party, Last Summer Splash and then Labor Day:
(see I said the summer was flying by…)

Labor Day Weekend at The Dunes Resort in Saugatuck Douglas MI

The Fall has lots on the Books:
All About the Men of Manwatch: Friday & Saturday 9/9 – 9/10
All About Car’s Weekend Friday & Saturday 9/16 & 9/17
Mr. Michigan Leather Friday & Saturday 9/23 & 9/24
Bearacuda Weekend Friday & Saturday 9/30 & 10/1

Sunday Tea Dances continue thru October 9th!

More to come…… In the Meantime follow us on Snap Chat!

Follow the Dunes Resort on Snapchat

Dunes Resort Staff 2016

Memorial Weekend and Beyond

Memorial Weekend and Beyond

Hard to believe that Memorial Day is upon us.. so excited to see 80 degrees on the horizon for the weekend!!  We’ll kick off the weekend with Birthday-Stripper-o-ke on Thursday 5/26 (Celebrating Greg T and Richard B’s birthdays).. 9p with Karaoke DJ Noe!

Friday 5/27 DJ Doug, Men of Manwatch, Dunes Diva’s Drag Show in the Cabaret
Saturday 5/28 Pool Party with DJ Doug, Special Guest PM DJ Phil B, Kelly & Rick in the Cabaret
Sunday 5/29 Early Tea with DJ Doug 4-7, Main Tea with Special Guest DJ Drew G (Dirty Pop) – Men of Manwatch at Tea, Hannaniah Whitley in the Cabaret
Monday 5/30 Memorial Day Tea with DJ Doug 4-9p

Memorial Day Weekend 2016 at The Dunes Resort

Wow what a weekend we have planned with Mimi Gonzalez as she presents GoGirl Saugatuck.
June 3-5 — check out GoGirlSaugatuck for more details.

Mimi Gonzalez Go Girl Saugatuck 2016 at The Dunes Resort

Dirty Disco weekend June 10 – 12
DJ Doug, Men of Manwatch, Dunes Divas and Disco Tea!

Be prepared for the first ever Men’s Room Event at the Dunes. This celebrated and over the top event rocks Chicago on a regular basis.. and they are doing the Dunes on June 18th
Friday 6/27 DJ Doug & the Men of Manwatch
Saturday 6/28 Men’s Room Event at the Pool, at the Main Bar (and Cabaret) in the PM and then a special afterhours out back.. rocking till 6a.
Sunday 6/29 Men’s Room Tea 4-10p
For more information check out Men’s Room!

Men's Room Does the Dunes Resort June 2016

Proud Weekend June 24 – 16
DJ Doug, Men of Manwatch, Kelly Carey & Rick SantaMaria, Pride Tea

The the weekend of all weekends.. the biggest event at the Dunes Resort in 2016
Red White on Blue Star — 4th of July Weekend.
DJ Seth Cooper – Friday
DJ Tristan Jaxx – Saturday Pool
DJ Eddie Martinez – Saturday PM
DJ Grind – Sunday
DJ Tony Moran – Monday
DJ Doug Roberts – Tuesday

Porn at the Pool on Saturday 7/2 (porn stars — Billy Santoro & Wesley Woods)
Tea Dances on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
Live Entertainment by: Amy Armstrong & Freddy Allen, Hannaniah Whitley and the Dunes Divas

Red, White on Blue Star at The Dunes Resort July 4th weekend 2016

So much more to come…

From all of us at the Dunes, we can’t wait to see you this summer….

Dunes Resort Staff 2016

Check out the full summer event calendar here!

The Dunes Resort’s amazing 2016 DJ Line Up

The Dunes Resort’s amazing 2016 DJ Line Up

In celebration of the Dunes 35th Anniversary, we have an amazing DJ line planned:

Check out who: Dunes Resort DJ List!

What’s coming:

Our Anniversary Weekend May 13 – 15
The Season’s Opening Day at the Pool 5/14
and the first of many Sunday Tea Dances 5/15.
Join us on Saturday May 14 for an amazing performance from Michael Walters, Celebrity Impersonator Dame Edna! The show is outside on the deck and seating begins at 9p with the showtime of 9:30pm. Stick around for celebratory cake and champagne with current owners, Mike, Dan and Greg… and original owners Carl & Larry.

Dunes Resort 35th Anniversary Celebration Weekend 2016

 

Hoedown at the Dunes May 20 – 22!
All things Country Western!

Hoedown in the Dunes Saugatuck Douglas 2016

And yes… Memorial Weekend
Thursday 5/26 Stripper-o-ke Celebrating Greg and Richard’s Birthday 9p
Friday 5/27 DJ Doug, Men of Manwatch, Dunes Divas in the Cabaret
Saturday 5/28 Pool DJ Doug, PM DJ Phil B, Kelly & Rick in the Cabaret
Sunday 5/29 Early TEA DJ Doug 4-7p, Late TEA DJ Drew G 7p-2a,
Hannaniah Whitley in the Cabaret 10:30p
Monday 5/30 Memorial Day TEA Dance DJ Doug 4-9p

Memorial Day Weekend 2016 at The Dunes Resort

Dunes Resort Celebrating 35 years!

The Dunes, Celebrating 35 Years of being Gay!

Dunes Resort 35th Anniversary Celebration Weekend 2016

1981 was a big year! Reagan was sworn in as the nation’s 40th president, the Iranian hostage crisis ended after 444 days and Walter Cronkite signed off after 19 years with CBS. It was also the year that both Reagan and the Pope were shot; Lady Diana Spender married Charles, Prince of Wales; and Sandra Day O’Conner became the first female Supreme Court Justice. MTV, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Beyonce were all born…. And, the CDC reported that five homosexual men in LA had a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems. ’81 was a big year.

It was also the year that the Douglas Dunes first opened its doors to curious gay men and women in Douglas (Saugatuck) Michigan.

The original plan for the Dunes was to occupy a B&B space just as you enter the city of Saugatuck on Lake Street (the former Twin Gables). However, after a band of bikers burned the only gay bar in town, the city commissioners decided it was a good time to “discourage” any new “exclusively” gay establishments looking to “drop anchor” in town. As a result, the Dunes instead found welcoming arms across the bridge in the Village of the Douglas. Purchasing the drive-in Amity Motel, the Douglas Dunes was born with 22 hotel rooms, a restaurant, lobby bar and summer only outside dancing.

Over the years, entertainers from Pop (Weather Girls, Lauren Grey, Uptown Girls, Eartha Kitt, Pamela Stanley, Claudja Barry) to Porn (Jack Wrangler), have all brought their talents to the Dunes stage. Drag, leather, bears, trannies, circuit boyz, daddies, lesbians, couples, singles, bi, fags, queers, ladies, gents, curious, straight – whatever you might want to be called, the Dunes has over the years hosted them all. From rumors of murder, to the making of porn (Catalina Video’s Down in the Dunes), everything, and most likely everyone has been the topic of discussion over the years either on the dance floor or out back in the bushes. The Dunes has been, and continues to be, a Gay institution.

Owners Mike Jones, Danny Esterline and Greg Trzybinski purchased The Douglas Dunes in 1999 and renamed it, “The Dunes Resort.” Since then, the trio has worked tirelessly to perpetuate a gay safe haven while offering top-shelf lodging and entertainment. “When the previous owners started this in 1981, people came here and they fell in love. We wanted to enhance the Dunes experience, update it and continue its legacy,” says Jones.

Now crowned the largest gay resort and entertainment complex in the Midwest, The Dunes is heralded as Western Michigan’s premier gay and lesbian vacation destination and a pinnacle of the gay Saugatuck – Douglas community.

This illustrious coming-of-age process has introduced a metropolitan standard to the quaint surroundings of Saugatuck and Douglas. Sprawling over 20 acres, the Dunes Resort now features over 80 rooms, 4 bars in the main building (including West Michigan’s largest Gay Dance Bar, a cabaret with live entertainment and a game room), plus a fantastic outdoor patio bar and the area’s largest pool and pool bar.

Whether you prefer it progressive or hard, the beat from The Dunes’ on-site nightclub is uncompromising. Resident DJ Doug Roberts and an impressive 2016 guest DJ line-up including: GRIND, Tony Moran, Phil B, Drew G, Seth Cooper, Tristan Jaxx, Eddie Martinez, Joe Gauthreaux, Theresa & Hector Fonseca rivals that of any urban dance venue.

The Dunes is a rare and special place where people of all walks can find themselves, lose them selves and most importantly, be themselves. Circuit kids, scenesters, couples and retirees all blend with ease in a congenial, come-as-you-are atmosphere. “You get to leave the real world for a little bit. You can hear fantastic music or come to the cabaret for a great show. Sing Karaoke or watch strippers. You can be gay, straight, old or young, and feel comfortable here. It doesn’t matter who you are, everybody is welcome,” says Jones.

2016 is a big year! “After 35 years, the Dunes just keeps getting better. If you’ve never been, now is a perfect time (a complete remodel of the main bar and game room). If it’s been a while, you’ll be surprised with what we’ve become and if you’re one our “regulars,” thanks for being you!” says Jones.

The Dunes Resort is open seven days a week, twelve months a year. The summer season kicks off with the 35 Anniversary Party (May 13-15, 2016) and continues through Labor Day Weekend. Major events are held year-round.

The Dunes Resort, Celebrating 35 years of being Gay!!