You want to talk about a businesswoman?
RuPaul's Drag Race has done a lot of things for a lot of people. For one, the show has given out more than $2 million in pure cash money to contestants. But more than that, it's given hundreds of queens a platform that they have used to step into or expand their celebrity, and spurred a series of microeconomies around them. Some of the more business-savvy performers have used the money they've made from the show and other endeavors to build empires. Trixie Mattel is arguably the biggest among them.
This summer, Mattel will open Trixie Motel, a new venture in Palm Springs. The name spans both the seven-unit motel and a Discovery+ renovation show that chronicles its creation.
“There has never, ever, ever been a motel like this, and there has never been a renovation show like this. It is going to leave people’s jaws on the floor,” Mattel told Out Traveler in a cover story released today. “The property is so beautiful, and we have created something that truly feels like the heart of it — even though it’s an artificial heart…like it’s a pig heart installed after your grandpa’s heart attack.”
The endeavor is an effort she embarked on with her partner David Silver. The pair hired designer Dani Dazey to collaborate with. She explains that it is based on the aesthetics of the Trixie Mattel character we've seen on RuPaul's Drag Race, on her YouTube show UNHhhh, her beauty brand Trixie Cosmetics, and more. Mattel is also the co-owner of This Is It!, Wisconsin's oldest gay bar.
“Trixie was this character I created that happened to be very California, very ’60s, very clean and retro, which is very Palm Springs,” she said.
The location itself was originally Ruby Montana’s Coral Sands Inn. Mattel had planned to turn it into an AirBnB to rent out, but changed her mind after viewing.
"I mean, it was just — it was like it was waiting for us," she said. "It was like, the universe gives you stage direction.”
She said she spent about $1.9 million to buy and $500,000 to renovate the space.