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Las Vegas Rolls Out the Rainbow Carpet This Summer in a Bid for Your Gay Travel Dollars

by Geri Jeter
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Thursday Jun 5, 2008
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Las Vegas Gay Days & Nights attracted 200 people when it debuted last year and organizers are hoping to double the attendance for 2008.

"The event came about because we were quite surprised that Las Vegas kept coming up on our marketing surveys as the number two in visited destinations by LGBT travelers," said Community Marketing, Inc. Projects Director Glen Fishman. "We thought that was interesting since you don’t think of Las Vegas as having much of a gay infrastructure - so we thought we would try to give some structure/cohesiveness to the Vegas experience."

Fishman worked with local organizations such as the Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc., to pull the event together. However, while SNAPI’s annual Pride celebration is geared toward the local Southern Nevada community, Gay Days & Nights was designed to attract out-of-town GLBT tourists.

Last year’s attendance wasn’t bad for first-time event, Fishman said.

"This year, though, we got a much earlier start," he added. "There is a lot of buzz about the event, and we expect attendance to significantly increase."

This year’s festivities will be held July 3 - 6 and every night will feature a different party theme and location, including French Kiss at Risqué Night Club on Thursday, the Friday Gay Days & Nights dance party at Krave and Piranha Nightclub on Saturday.

During the day, visitors can explore the desert with tour guide Thanks Babs, choosing from excursions to Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, rafting on the Colorado River or a unique city tour Gays Gone By: Las Vegas Yesteryear. Daytime pool parties, brunches and a poker tournament (it is Las Vegas after all) will also offered.

Booking Information:
- Travelocity.com/gaylasvegas
- Paris Las Vegas, 20% off rack rate for July 3-7 at gayparislasvegas.com & 1-800 625-1753 w/ GROUP CODE PPGLBT
- Thanks Babs The Day Tripper Tours, thanksbabs.com and 702 370-6961

For the ladies: Betty’s Outrageous Adventures, the Women’s Empowerment Network and Thanks Babs are planning a prideful July 4 late-evening party. Among the other scheduled events are a post-KÁ Red, White and ultra-Bleu celebration at Gipsy, a Saturday party at Candy Bar with DJ Lisa Pittman and a Sunday brunch social at the Paris Las Vegas.

And then there’s the shopping. Las Vegas is now one of the best shopping destinations in the country, with everything from the latest trends and designer duds on the Strip to the outlet malls located within the city limits. Plus, you can show off any new purchases at one of the Cirque show events or later at one of the clubs.

Cirque du Soleil is rolling out the rainbow carpet. The Beatles’ LOVE at the Mirage, the gravity-defying and dynamic KÁ at MGM-Grand, ZUMANITY, the Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil at New York New York and the powerfully
athletic Mystère at Treasure Island all offer an inspired focus for the weekend. Selected shows will feature exclusive opportunities to mix and mingle with the Cirque cast members, and even to have photos taken with the
performers. Special for the four days, Cirque attendees will enjoy exclusive gifts, discounts, and preferred Gay Days & Nights group seating with prior reservations.

Host hotel for the weekend Paris Las Vegas is situated at the center of the Las Vegas Strip and offers a Welcome Suite where guests can enjoy beverages, get advice and sign up for tours, activities and events. On the ground floor of the hotel, Café Lenôtre is the designated informal "gay café" during Gay Days & Nights.

Walking a fine line between elegant and cheesy, the Parisian-themed hotel features 10 French-inspired restaurants, pleasantly decorated rooms, a spa and decent coffee. The copies of French landmarks, including a 50-story, half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, give the casino a strangely agreeable out-of-time-and-place atmosphere. Big casino perk here: you can drink champagne while playing the slots. In 2007, Paris Las Vegas was awarded a perfect score by the Human Rights Campaign the first gaming company to receive this honor. Additionally, the hotel/casino was nominated for a GLAAD award for its creative GLBT advertising campaign.

Presented by sponsor Cirque du Soleil®, Travelocity and host hotel sponsor Paris Las Vegas, and hosted by QVegas magazine, all the scheduled events benefit the Las Vegas Gay & Lesbian Center, Las Vegas Pride and the Liberace
Foundation. Additional sponsors are Instinct magazine, Shop Las Vegas and the Liberace Museum.

For a complete calendar of events, visit www.GayDaysAndNights.com.

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