Steve Buczek’s Beef Dip has become an iconic staple of PV’s Bear Week. We were able to catch up with Steve ahead of Bear Week 2023!
Well it might be off-season for some but for the BeefDip team it has been a season of hard work preparing everything for BeefDip 2023 and even 2024. We’ve had staff meetings in Toronto and here in Puerto Vallarta, reviewing new ideas for the event and to better the experience for our Beefdippers. We are planning new parties and we’re bringing new artists this year. It has also been a time to be with family in the little spare time I’ve had, since most of our birthdays are in the summer.
You moved down to PV and it was love at first sight, what made you fall in love with PV so quickly and want to make it your place of residence?
When I first came to PV I noticed the friendliness of the people right away. The local people here are polite, friendly, and family stood for family. They also welcomed others no matter their walk of life. Those are the values I learned being raised in Guelph, Southern Ontario. Puerto Vallarta has a special glow not only through the amazing landscapes but also through the people, its culture and the food weaving it special place in your heart!
What about PV do you think makes it such an attractive destination for the bear community?
Bears have been welcomed here since day one in Vallarta, it’s only has gotten bigger each year. More Vallarta businesses and locals participating in the event on a greater scale. I believe the BeefDip bears see the same values as I saw in the city and the people here welcomed that. Did I mentioned the food? *wink*
Your event has become known worldwide, you must take great pride in that, how do you think BeefDip Bear Week achieved global notoriety?
It took a lot of work from traveling, a lot of trial and error and time and money invested, and an incredible family and extended family backing those dreams to bringing the BeefDip Bear crowd to PV. It’s been a labour of love to informing people and assuring that PV is a friendly and safe place to visit. I have been bringing family and friends for years and they have also brought their friends as well each year.
Of course it has also helped having a great work team over the years and we try our best to make sure people are having a great experience. We are not here to take from Vallarta but to include them, making them part of the event. We aim to include as many venues as possible to work with us.
Word of mouth has also been vital as we strive for perfection. Others may follow but we’re always striving for excellence and for a great experience for everyone. And a good testament of that is the fact that BeefDip Bear Week is being acknowledged among the best Bear events throughout the world by event sites, magazines and bloggers; including BeefDip being the #1 spot in the “ultimate bear events” by travel blogger Wolffy, 95% rating at Rainbowindex.com (making it among the top 2 rated Bear events on the list), and a mention among the best bear events around the world by Bear World Magazine.
Something about your events is that there is a charitable component. What inspired you to add that element?
Before BeefDip started supporting charities officially, My family, friends and I would buy barrels off beans and rice in Guadalajara through locals every year and then I would get T-shirts, pencils and books to take to the needy families up in the jungle. Then one of my BeefDipper pitched me the idea to do the swimsuit auction and that’s how the annual fundraiser begun. We have had different beneficiaries such as Los Niños del Magisterio, RISE Orphanage and Vallarta Foodbank but SETAC is our main beneficiary because we want to support the local gay community that has given so much to us throughout the years.
With all the people who come to your events, how do you encourage people to see more of PV than just the Beef Dip events during an unusually busy week?
Well BeefDip Bear Week is held all around the Zona Romantica and not just in one place. We always include the community and encourage others to do so. We use local companies for our BeefDip Booze Cruise every year when we set out to explore the beautiful banderas bay and the riches it has to offer throughout the many years we’ve been coming to experience humpback whales, giant stingray, pods of dolphins and sea turtles as well as the blue-footed booby bird.
We set up incredible discounts for the Wild Treks ATV Tour and the Canopy River Zip Line tour so our guys have a chance to experience the nature and the amazing views and vistas from the highest mountains to sea level Vallarta has to offer. We also have a list of community partners (that every business is welcome to join), where we offer special discounts for our tag holders in more than 40 different restaurants and stores in Zona Romantica. We always encourage our attendees to visit and consume from the local businesses since we think this is a great opportunity for the city’s economy. Last but not least, this year we had the chance to be featured in the Pride: The LGBTQ+ History Series by film maker Mark Kenneth Woods (Peacock and OUT TV) where we reached an audience of more than 3 million people and were able to show the beauty of Puerto Vallarta and its beautiful community.
We are a few months away from BeefDip Bear Week, without giving too much away, what can you tell us about your plans for this year vs years past?
The interest in BeefDip Bear Week is bigger and better every year and we are grateful to both the city of Puerto Vallarta and our BeefDippers for their continued support and their word of mouth experience within our event. In our attempt to grow and provide the bears with the best possible experience and entertainment, this year we are bringing in amazing new talent (soon to be disclosed) to our already solid and top-tier line up. We are also bringing more events and more venues to our already packed week of events.
While your events bring in people from all over the world, is there anything you would like to say to the locals here in PV?
I’d like to thank the people of Puerto Vallarta for their generosity and for being so welcoming to the bear community, because I need to say that it has not always been the case in other places in the world. Vallarta is becoming a safe heaven and a second home for many (which in my case has become literally my home this year). Thanks for the opportunity in allowing me to make a great event for our community throughout the years and years to come. Being able to show Puerto Vallarta on a world mainstage level for the both the tourism and for the bear community has been a beautiful and rewarding experience to say the least.