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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Student businesses provide spring break music festival

Amy Webb
Amy Webb / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Four UA student businesses are collaborating to put together a spring break experience for students in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The event, Electro Beach Music Festival, features performances from Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Calvin Harris and more over a 10-day period. For a roundtrip flight, festival tickets each night, an all-inclusive hotel and “all you can drink” at local clubs, the experience costs around $1,300. The businesses,, AZ Weekends, College Travel Experts and, are working together to plan, organize and run the event.

Two UA students — Austin Leshay, a communication senior, and Alex Pattis, a senior studying communication and sports management, started the website as a “convenient hub” for students by linking UA academic resources, such as D2L, CatMail and other common websites like Facebook and Twitter, to their site. The site also features articles written “for students, by students,” interviews with “exceptional students,” like UA athletes and Homecoming court, as well as a music tab to spotlight work by local musicians, among other features, Leshay said.

“It’s convenient and fun for students,” Pattis added. “We are constantly adding tons of content.”

The site is also a lead promoter for weekly events at local businesses, such as Zen Rock, Gentle Ben’s and Fuku Sushi, through the events tab on the site, Leshay said.

“We’re busy, but we love it,” he said. “It’s a good time.”

AZ Weekends and College Travel Experts

Andrew Sokolsky, a communication senior, reached out to the CEOs of College Travel Experts, a business that offers fun and affordable trips for college students, to start a similar brand at the UA. AZ Weekends is this brand, Sokolsky said, and he focuses on offering “unique travel opportunities” to the Tucson community and UA students specifically.

These opportunities include trips to away UA football games, spring break getaways and more, Sokolsky said. As a transfer student, Sokolsky said it was a struggle to start a business when other UA students already made their own social cliques, but the collaboration with other student businesses made the process easier.

“There is a cohesion with everyone,” he said. “We all benefitted together, and we’re all becoming stronger as people.”

Andrew Bellach, Indiana University alumni and the CEO and general manager of the site, uses his site as an online restaurant guide that provides Tucson restaurant information, menus, locations and hours in addition to online ordering. His team of UA freshmen interns run day-to-day marketing objectives, Bellach said, such as designing and disseminating T-shirts, fliers and cups. His site is offering a free trip to the spring break experience to promote the event, he said.

“There is no reason not to work together,” Bellach added.

The benefits of the site, Bellach said, is that it offers specials only available when ordered online through the site. From Dec. 1 through 14, the site is sponsoring “Food Finals Frenzy,” where users can get specials from local restaurants, like Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ and Blackjack Pizza.

“We act as a one-stop shop for all your restaurant needs,” Bellach said.

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