WAS THAT SHADE? Dwight Powell, CEO of Sizzle Miami, Talks #InfernoDR

After Inferno Dominican Republic went to s*** last week at the helm of Will Williams, another event planner Dwight Powell posted a message to his Facebook  [click here to see it] expressing condolences to those stranded in Dominican Republic and asking the community to not let this one mishap spread a negative thought in people’s minds about all LGBT events. That was real cute, right?

But then he posted a second message in response to the exclusive first response released to Love B. Scott –

Not sure if the patrons or general public got this but officially from [B. Scott]- If this is really EXCLUSIVE to B.Scott I would say that the patron have been again, insulted to the very end. I at least expected to see this on the official Inferno Fan Page. Now I’m really pissed – PR please… anyone!

Will didn’t take too kind to any of Dwight’s comments and stated Dwight is using this moment to rev up revenue for his own event.

In response to that,Dwight has penned an open letter via Facebook:

To this day, I had not publicly commented on this issue but, rather like everyone, suggested that Will say something sooner than later. Word of the cancellation became news on the 28th of August, but unfortunately it took Will more than two days to respond to affected guests either on the island or en route. My insistence, along with dozens of other event planners, was merely suggesting that he address his customers as time was running out.
In Will’s interview, he suggested that I took inappropriate, cheap shots in attempts to enhance my brand of 12 years. Naturally, the comment bothered me quite a bit, especially since that’s not the case. Just yesterday, I spoke with Will through Lonnell Williams and cautioned that they not do the interview unless he could properly answer the questions brought on by so many on the Face Book page of Funky Dineva. Even then I expressed concerns that doing so would further hurt his brand. I have always been a huge supporter of Inferno DR. Given that our demographic is short on similar quality events, in no way do I see Inferno DR as a competitor or find their existence problematic. I am proud that Sizzle provided Inferno DR a huge platform to launch and showcased the brand 6 years at my event. A little known fact is that prior to the first year I, along with my partner Luis, took Will to dinner and taught him everything about our business event planning platform. Will is only one of dozens that I’ve assisted in their quest to offer quality experiences for the LGBT market. So no Will, cheap shots where not taken at you or your brand. I was very disappointed that you would handle your customers in such an irresponsible manner – that’s about it.

While I did have questions of my own that I never shared with anyone, I now find it necessary to pose them here. I found your replies not only insensitive, but also insulted the intelligence of those looking for honest answers. I cautioned you not to do the interview, because I knew that you would not property address the concerns of your customers. As a member of this industry, naturally my questions hit more at home as to why you did not need to do the interview. On that note, these are the question people really want answered.

1. When was the event cancelled by the hotel?

2. Why were funds still being collected up to the week of the event if the hotel had cancelled the event in their August 2nd email to you?

3. Why were customers not given proper notification prior to the cancellation?

4. Why there weren’t any DR Inferno staff on-site to coordinate the pending inconvenience, given that traditionally you and most on your team are in DR days prior to the event?

5. Why weren’t you there to help coordinate the confusion after it started?

6. When was the talent cancelled (most booked talent had other plans for that weekend)?

7. Insurance / Why would you suggest that people protect their trip with additional insurance when booking online if the company (Inferno DR) was already purchasing insurance for them. Why double insurance?

8. Is this type of cancellation covered in you policy?

9. How can we be assured that 150% of payments made will be available next year when 0-100% isn’t available today?

10. What happened to the money customers sent in?

11. WHERE IS THE MONEY NOW?

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Even though ALL of what Dwight said is true, am I the only one feeling like he should have kept his comments to being supportive to those affected and been mums the word outside of promoting a great experience at Sizzle Miami, which has somehow been renamed to Sizzle South Beach? I love both of these guys for what they do for the community and hate to see them bicker like this.


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