TwitterTakeover at The Grand Resort and Spa

I have been very lucky to be able to enjoy wonderful trips, restaurants, spas, and entertainment and now I get to pass along some savings to YOU so you can join me in one of my latest adventures. And more importantly, you can share in a relaxing, fun experience. Sorry, ladies, this one is only for the guys.

Do you want to vacation with guys who know what’s hot and happening? Join me (teeco71 – Tommy Geraci) and Matt Martin at the Grand Resort and Spa for a relaxing and intimate gay vacation in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Enjoy poolside happy hours, spa treatments, tranquility and have the opportunity to vacation with me and Matt.

I wrote about my last trip there and you can read all about it here

This time, I’d really like to see some familiar faces there this time around. Let’s have some champagne toasts by the pool and enjoy the amazing spa services all day!  It’s located so close to the airport, it’s a quick Uber ride away and there are plenty of amazing restaurants  right there to satisfy any appetite.

The best news is that it’s also a lotto weekend! ALL ROOMS ARE $179 and with a confirmed reservation you enter to be upgraded!!!

GRAND PRIZE: An upgraded stay in The Grand Penthouse! (Their spectacular 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with its own kitchen, terrace, outdoor shower, and jacuzzi).

THE OTHER PRIZE IS THAT ALL PREMIUM ROOMS ARE JUST $179.00! You can pick ANY room (including our Patio Suites, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom Penthouses that is available) EXCLUDING our Courtyard Guest Rooms and The Grand Penthouse for $179.00/night + tax: May 15th–May 23rd, 2017.

All reservations to be entered for the upgrade for the upgraded stay in The Grand Penthouse must be made by Friday, May 12th. First come first serve on room selections. The winner of the upgraded stay to The Grand Penthouse will be contacted by Saturday, May 13th. The minimum stay requirement is a 3-night stay.

Other opportunities to win include other prize giveaways:

A FREE future 3-night stay
Vouchers for our famous poolside beer & wine service
A FREE Spa service
Other surprises will also be waiting for our guests to make them ALL winners–play our GRAND LOTTO” and book your stay today!

Make your reservation by visiting their  website or call us at 1.800.818.1211. *Certain restrictions apply. New reservations only.

For further information, please contact Edward Otto Zielke from The Grand Resort and Spa.

My Grand time at The Grand Resort and Spa

I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Grand Resort and Spa in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. I was invited to go around the same time I was invited to go to Grail Springs, just outside of Toronto, Canada. I thought they would be two ENTIRELY different experiences but actually they turned out to be very similar. The Grand Resort and Spa is a resort for gay men but I should point out, the spa accepts appointments from anyone and there is a separate entrance from the street. I would recommend their services to anyone. I had a great haircut, an amazing massage and the most fantastic facial. The staff is very experienced and knowlegable about what they do. I was even privy to a conversation about classes they were taking to keep up with their massage skills and education.
Let me tell you more about the resort itself. Upon arriving I entered by the pool, which was just as magnificent as it looks in the pictures. I could totally see contestants from Ru Paul’s Drag Race lined up on the two staircases leading from the sun deck to the pool as they make a grand entrance. I was greeted and checked in very quickly an my name was on a scrolling screen at the front desk to welcome me along with the others that were checking in that day. When I got to my room, I was very pleasanlty surprised. It was like my very own apartment with a full living room, kitchen, and luxurious bedroom. I could absolutely live there and would probably pay top dollar if it were an apartment located in NYC or Los Angeles.
Needless to say, I slept very well so I was read for my Saturday and my three hours at the spa. I headed down for the complimentary breakfast around 9 (ok, maybe closer to 10, the bed was too comfortable). I was once again pleasantly surprised to find out there are coffee stations set up all over the property with Starbucks coffee, which is also part of the breakfast in the common room along with juices, cereal, hot breadfast, fruits, and yogurt.
After breakfast, I toured the grounds a little to find out there are peacful areas all over where you can relax, take the sun, read, or whatever you want. There is also a hot tub in addition to the pool and a clothing optional area for those who enjoy the freedom!
I then got ready for my spa appointment and was notified there would be a BBQ during that time but not to worry, they would come to get me. Sure enough, in between my treatments, I did get to enjoy the food and then headed back for my facial. A guy could get used to be attended to like that and I can definitely get used to feeling relaxed and confident that I look my best.
That evening, I left the property to meet friends for dinner and we happened upon an art show in the area. There is so much to do around the spa because it is located in one of the best areas possible. The choices of food were too much for me to decide so I let my friends pick and we ended up an Rocco’s Tacos and I had NO complaints about that.
Sunday was a day to take in some sun and then head back over to check out the rest of the art show and then head to a friend’s house before my flight home. Everywhere I needed to go outside the spa was very easily accessable by Uber without being overly expensive.
If you are looking for a place to go to relax, the Grand Resort and Spa is the place for you. If you like to party, it’s still a place for you. They do have events and theme weekends, there is always a great group by the pool or by the hottub, and the staff is so helpful when it comes to suggesting things to do in the area if you want to explore a bit. The spa services are a must and completely comparable to services I can receive in NYC or LA for a much highter cost. If you’re a gay man, book a weekend, a week, or however long you’d like. If you are not a gay male, I still suggest you check out the spa, I haven’t been treated that well at a spa in the states in a long time.

Meet Some of the Hearts behind EnchantaCon

I have been bringing you updates about the FIRST EVER convention with the stars of ABC’s Once Upon A Time, EnchantaCon, for a while now. The event will take place in Orlando Florida on November 22nd, 23rd, and 24th.  I was pleased to be the first to announce the convention earlier this year and I am shocked at how fast time has gone by.  We are very close to this weekend of fairytales, fantasy, and fun! Now I am equally pleased to let you know that everybody’s very favorite Emcee, Joshua Reid-Davis, has joined the team.  I am so thrilled that Josh and Laurie Mahoney, VP at EnchantaCon, had some time to sit and chat with me about the upcoming weekend.  I wanted to give you all a better idea of what it will be about and the hearts behind this event.  Please go to the EnchantaCon website to find out even more and book your trip!

For Laurie: As we get closer to EnchantaCon weekend, how are things progressing for you?

Laurie: We are in the process of getting all of the final touches done. We are in the home stretch now. I really think the fans are going to have an amazing time and we have some surprises in store. One surprise I would like to share with everyone is we will have Eden Sirène, who is a local Mermaid putting on a performance in The Doubletree’s pool.  She has worked extensively to have her designers replicate the Mermaid Costume from the Season Premiere of Once Upon A Time.

For Laurie: I was SO pleased that you got our friend Josh (Joshua Reid-Davis) to be the emcee for the event! Was that a no-brainer?

Laurie: We didn’t want to interfere with Josh’s EyeCon schedule and are very thankful to Kenny and Autumn for letting us borrow Josh for our event.  Anyone who has ever attended an EyeCon event knows that Josh is an amazing Emcee and makes the fans feel special, each and every one of them. He gets to know them and by the end of the weekend he has introduced new friends to each other and made new friends himself. He will bring a lot of energy and fun to the event. As for it being a no-brainer, of course it was…there is no better Emcee than Joshua Reid-Davis.

For Josh: What did you think when they asked you to emcee EnchantaCon? Are you a fan of Once Upon A Time?
Josh: I was very flattered that they asked me to host the convention for them.  I am a huge fan of Once Upon A Time.  I am a huge nerd when it comes to fairy tales and it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I would love to be in Neverland.

For both: What can people expect when they attend EnchantaCon?

Laurie: Fun and more FUN! Especially with the addition of Josh as our Emcee. I have spoken with our Celebrity Guests and they can’t wait to interact and mingle with the fans for the weekend.

JoshConventions are a whole world within itself.  Some people don’t understand what a convention entails.  They see things in the media and think it’s just a place where peole go and dress up to have a good time.  But in reality it’s so much more than that.  A convention is a place where people from all walks of life come together for the love of a show that they enjoy.  They get to meet celebrities from the show that they love and enjoy.  Conventions are a place where people can leave whatever problem that is in the world around them at the door and come in and have a good time.

For both: What are you most looking forward to about the convention?

Laurie: I often refer to this convention as my baby. I, along with the EnchantaCon Staff have spent a year planning and putting this event together. So, for me, it is definitely going to be watching the end result, which is the entire weekend. Watching the fans have fun interacting with their favorite celebrity guests, watching the celebrity guests having fun with their fans…and of course the Fairy Tale Ball.

Josh: I am very excited about this convention because my favorite thing about hosting conventions is meeting the fans.  I have worked in the convention wold since I got out of the Navy, with each show or movie that I MC a convention for I get to meet so many amazing fans.  It’s going to be great!  I am looking forward to the Fairy Tale Ball because let’s face it…. Who doesn’t want to go to a Fairy Tale Ball?

For both: Who are you most excited to see?

 Laurie: I am most excited to see all of our fans and celebrity guests.  I have been interacting with most of the fans attending for the last 9 months or so. Finally being able to put a face to a name is going to be very special for me. And of course David Anders…I have worked with or for him several times at other events, so seeing him is going to be a kind of reunion of sorts.

Josh: Once again yes, the Fans are my favorite I can’t wait to see them all, It will be a good time.  I am very excited about the whole line up.  I have seen each cast member in various projects that they have done so it will be a great honor to meet and work with them.

For both: What is your favorite part about Once Upon A Time?

Laurie: My favorite part is Fairy Tale meets Real World. Every girl loves the Fairy Tale, and I am no different. I really enjoy how they intermingle the two.

JoshI also love how they intermingle between the reay world and fairy tale world… I interviewed Josh Dallas a while back on our show that I host on Variety Radio Online and I told him way back then that we need to see Peter Pan.  For anyone who knows me they know that I am a fanatic about Peter Pan… I have seen the movies, the movies about it, and also a mini series about the boy that will never grow up.  I do like how Once Upon A Time has turned the tables and made Hook the villain yet good guy, and Peter Pan as the villain.  I really enjoy the Evil Queen.  She has my heart, I have the biggest crush on her and I love seeing her inner battle between good and evil.

Exclusive! Official Press Release: EnchataCon Gets Grumpy

A few months ago, I was so pleased to announce the upcoming EnchantaCon convention that will be taking place in Orlando, Florida in November. EnchantaCon will be the very first convention dedicated to featuring  the stars we all love from the ABC hit series Once Upon A Time all on their own. I believe this will create a much more intimate experience for the fans and give everyone ample time to enjoy the company of this amazing cast in a way we haven’t been able to experience at other conventions which include multiple shows.    At that time I also promised that I would give you updates as more celebrities from the show would be signing on and today I am excited to announce that Grumpy will be in attendance.  I know how passionate the fans of OUAT are about their favorite characters and Lee Arenberg has done an amazing job portraying Grumpy with humor, compassion, and relate-ability.  I recently attended the Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia where I was happy to answer questions about the upcoming EnchantaCon and thrilled that you all knew so much about it already!  Here is the official press release from my good friend and the heart behind Enchantacon, Laurie Mahoney:

 

LEE ARENBERG has confirmed appearance at EnchantaCon presents A Weekend with the Stars of Once Upon A Time

By Laurie Mahoney

Orlando, FL- EnchantaCon is pleased to announce that Lee Arenberg has committed to appear at their inaugural Weekend with the Stars of Once Upon A Time Convention scheduled for November 22-24, 2013 at The Doubletree by Hilton at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.  Lee portrays fan-favorite Grumpy of the 7 Dwarfs, as well as his Storybrooke alter ego Leroy.

Lee has demonstrated his unique talent and diverse range acting career that spans two decades.    He has appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as Pintel, along with memorable roles on television shows such as Seinfeld, Friends, Scrubs, Pushing Daisies, The Iceman Chronicles, The Cape, Good Luck Charlie and Californication. Other notable roles include appearances on Arliss, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. 

In addition to acting, Lee has a passion for writing and producing.  In 2011 he fulfilled that passion by writing and producing In the Gray. 

When he is not acting, Mr. Arenberg spends his leisure time playing golf, cooking, playing the blues harmonica, playing video games and playing poker.  He is also involved with numerous animal rights organizations, as well Jay Nolan Community Services, which helps autistic children and their families

EnchantaCon, LLC is a Celebrity Convention Company based in Tampa, Florida.  EnchantaCon and its Weekend with the Stars of Once Upon A Time convention are not sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with ABC Productions or Disney Enterprises, Inc.  Other confirmed guests include Tony Amendola, Raphael Sbarge, David Anders, Michael Coleman, Chad Michael Collins, Keegan Connor Tracy, Faustino DiBauda, Beverley Elliott, and David-Paul Grove.

To learn more about this event visit www.enchantacon.com.

EnchantaCon is A Chance to Meet Your Favorite Stars from ABC’s Once Upon A Time

Are you a fan of the show, “Once Upon A Time” on ABC? Would you like to meet some of your favorite stars from StoryBrook?  What if I told you that not only could you do that but you could also meet other fans and form lasting friendships? Pretty cool,right?  Well, thanks to Scott Distasio and Laurie Mahoney, all of this is possible!

Scott and Laurie have teamed up to create EnchantaCon, a convention for fans of “Once Upon A Time” and dedicated to making a magical experience for both the fans and the stars.  Think Comic Con, only more intimate and concentrated on the characters and experience of “Once Upon A Time” alone.   I have been to Comic Con and had a great time but I have also been to EyeCon (a convention dedicated to The Vampire Diaries) which is a completely different vibe.

It is a whole new level of convention when you are surrounded by people who are all there for the same reason. There is something completely magical that takes place when you are attending events that are specifically created for one show as compared to a weekend full of many different shows coming together under one roof.

I met Laurie at an EyeCon event a few years ago and I can tell you that she has plenty of experience with these events. What makes her different is her genuine heartfelt respect for the stars since she is a true fan just as many of us are.  Anytime I have seen her while she is performing her duties at a convention, she is respectful to and concerned about the fans around her as well.  Laurie always looks at things from the fans perspective, which is what makes it so easy for her to relate to their needs and makes her the perfect candidate to create a weekend that will be truly Enchanted.

EnchantaCon will take place in Orlando, Florida in November so I thought it would be good to sit with Laurie and Scott so that I could bring you all the info you will need to plan your trip.  Be prepared to be dazzled, starstruck, and to make quite a few new friends.

 

Q: As a fan of Once Upon A Time, tell me what appeals to you about the show. 

Laurie: The intermingling of Fairy Tale and real world and all the twists and turns the characters go through.  Oh and of course Dr. Whale… honestly, I started watching the show because David Anders had signed on.  I went back and got caught up on the first few episodes of Season One so I would be ready for his first episode.  I have been hooked (no pun intended, lol) ever since. 

Scott: I have always been fascinated with the struggle between good and evil.  The fairy tales we all grew up with came from a time when people were thought of as all good or all evil.   But the truth is the world has never been that way.  We are all born with the freedom to choose one or the other.  But the events in our lives ultimately shape us as we make our choices.  I am amazed with how the show has been able to depict these choices within the fairy tale characters as it adds complexity and depth to their traditionally one dimensional portrayals.  But I think the shows ultimate success comes from the way it has been able to depict the struggle between good and evil as characters move seamlessly across time and space within the fairy tale worlds and our world.

Q: How did the idea for EnchantaCon come about?

 Laurie: Scott Distasio, my boss at the time (now my business partner) and I were at lunch.  We were celebrating me having survived the last 8 years working for him.  I had just returned from a convention weekend.  Apparently, my face lit up when I talked about the different aspects of “convention life” and I expressed how it would be great to put on a convention for the show Once Upon A Time.  In the past he had been skeptical.  Every time I brought it up he shot me down.  But this time it was different.  He gave me some homework to do in the form of research. I did my research, I came back to him with it, we reviewed it, he did his own research and here we are.

Scott:  I am a personal injury trial lawyer.  Helping injured people has been my passion for a good part of my adult life.  Running a Celebrity convention company was the farthest thing from my mind.  On the other hand, Laurie Mahoney, my office manager, has been involved with celebrity conventions for as long as I can remember.  One day, she came to me with the idea of putting together a convention to highlight the stars of Once Upon a Time.  I told her no.  But she was very persistent.  Over the course of what seemed like a year, she brought it up just about every week.  Each time I pointed out a different obstacle she would have to overcome.  Quite frankly I thought she would give up on the idea.  But she didn’t.  Each time she came back with ways to overcome the obstacles I pointed out.  Finally I ran out of obstacles.  In retrospect, the process was very instrumental in making the planning of the event very smooth because it forced us to identify and overcome most of the obstacles before we even started.

Q: What stars from Once Upon A Time have you signed so far?

Laurie: So far, we have Raphael Sbarge, David Anders, Tony Amendola, Michael Coleman, Faustino DiBauda, David-Paul Grove and Chad Michael Collins.  We are in active negotiations with many more top names.

Scott: I would love to tell you what I know about future signings but it is important to keep the negotiations confidential until the details are finalized.  What I can say though is that I believe the future signings will exceed my wildest expectations.

 Q: What can people expect when they attend EnchantaCon and what will make it different from the other conventions out there?

Laurie: We want the fans to feel enchanted.  We have put together many great events that will occur during the course of the weekend. Of course we will have the traditional star panels, photographs, and autographs.  But we have also put together, parties, meet and greets, and special opportunities for all the fans to interact with the celebrity guests.   In addition, the top three winners of our trivia contest are in store for a once in a life time moment.

In my opinion, what makes us different from other conventions is our passion to make this an experience the fans walk away with feeling Enchanted, as well as our celebrity guests being portrayed in a light that makes them shine.  Our staff has a combined 15+ years of experience.  Between all of our knowledge and listening to fans and the celebrities over the years of what they want and what works, I believe this is what is going to set our event apart from any other.

Scott:  Previous conventions that have had stars for Once Upon a Time have been very large multi genre events.  There is nothing wrong with those events.  But they tend to be impersonal, crowded, and difficult to maneuver through.  As far as we know, this is the first time that a convention is focusing on just OUAT.  The advantage is an intimate, exclusive setting that is limited to the first 1400 people that purchase tickets.  Our single show convention concept gives fans the opportunity to personally participate in a fun filled weekend that focuses on their favorite show.

Q: Conventions seem to be growing in popularity, what do you think continues to draw people to them?

Laurie: Honestly, it is the actors who draw fans to conventions.  As a fan, to be able to interact, get an autograph and/or have your picture taken with that actor whom you adore and watch on TV or the movie screen is a priceless experience.  But, I also have to say the friendships that are born at conventions is a priceless experience as well.  Someone can come to a convention, by themself, and leave with many, many friends.  I’ve seen it happen, it is amazing.

Scott:  The complexity of modern life is stressful and draining.  TV shows are an excellent way to leave reality behind for a short period of time and escape into a fantasy.  Vacations are great for relaxation but they usually don’t provide that added element of fantasy.  But a convention that focuses on a single TV show allows the fan to take that moment of fantasy created by the show and participate on a deeper level.

Q: What do you hope people will take away with them after attending EnchantaCon?

 Laurie: I hope the fans leave the weekend feeling like they have just stepped back into reality from a Fairy Tale.  I hope the celebrity guests leave the weekend feeling like they were portrayed in the light they deserve and this convention experience was like no other they have encountered.  Not to mention, for the fans all the great friends they are going to meet and form relationships with that will last years to come.

 Scott:  Our goal is to give the stars an opportunity to give back to the fans in an environment where they feel comfortable being themselves.  If we accomplish that goal I know that both the stars and the fans will take away wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Q: Putting together a convention is no easy task.  What is the most rewarding part for you?

Laurie: That’s a tough question, because it is all so rewarding to me to be able to put together this event that is going to be like no other, in my opinion. But, if I had to pick the most rewarding part, I would have to say there are two things… Putting together the line-up of celebrity guests, these gentlemen, we have signed so far, and their agents/managers have been amazing and truly fun to work with, and secondly, the fans.  The interaction that I am having with the fans, answering their questions, seeing the excitement from them and the over pouring of love and appreciation from them is making all the hard work worth it.

Scott:  Watching something that did not exist a year ago form into an idea and then manifest itself into a spectacular production.

Q: Can you give us the details on EnchantaCon, such as pricing and packages available?

We have put together some very exciting packages for this event.  We have our Diamond Package which is limited to 180 tickets being sold with exclusive events for those ticket holders. Those events include the Friday Night Cocktail Party, Saturday Evening Banquet and Sunday Morning Breakfast, which some of the celebrity guests will be attending with the fans.  Plus entrance into the Fairy Tale Ball as well as autographs from 6 of the guests in attendance and 3 photo ops…and a special Swag Bag.  This is the package that gets you the most interaction time with the guests.  The cost of this package is $699.

Then we have our Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby ticket packages that include entrance into the Fairy Tale Ball, autographs and with the Emerald you get 2 photo ops and the Sapphire you get 1 photo op.

We have also General Admission Weekend tickets.

Some of the extras that we are offering are Meet & Greets with some of the celebrity guests.  This is a more intimate time with the guest, as the tickets are limited to 10 per guest.  So, basically it will be the guest and 10 fans sitting and chatting in an informal manner.  We are also offering a VIP ticket that can be purchased separately, which gets you VIP access during the convention, backstage before Q&A’s to spend a few minutes with the guest, first in line for autographs and photographs and other special VIP exclusive

We are also offering payment plans for anyone who spends $449 or more on their ticket packages and the extras.  We understand that there are some fans on a budget.  We want to make this event something even those on a budget can attend.

Also, we have a contest running right now through June 24, 2013. We will be doing a weekly drawing starting Monday April 22, 2013.  All fans who purchase ticket packages during the week leading up to the Monday drawings will be entered to win a special commemorative gift that they will pick up with their ticket packages at the event.  The final drawing on June 24, 2013 will be for the grand prize, a Convention Survival Kit Basket that will include an assortment of goodies to get them through the weekend.

Our website has all the information of ticket packages and extras www.enchantacon.com