It’s been more than 23 years since Jim Burba and Bob Hayes met one enchanting night at a black-tie gala for The Center OC (The Orange County, California gay and lesbian center) held at the Disneyland Hotel. Both were quite the socialites back then (and still are today). Jim was with John Duran, former mayor and current West Hollywood City Council member, while Bob accompanied the gala chairman. If you know Jim and Bob, you wouldn’t be surprised that Bob, the more social of the two, made the first pass at Jim, who, according to the couple, “rebuffed him.”
“I was surprised,” says Bob. “His friends told him I was cute and so he should ‘go for it.’” Despite the rejection, Jim did end up getting Bob’s number and called him the next day. This fateful meeting made history not only as a romantic gay love story, but also because it was the beginning of the successful Burba Hotel Network.