The Wall Street has an interesting article on Las Vegas travel industry’s recent campaign to sway the gay tourists. It has been highly publicized lately that gay and lesbian travelers tend to come from higher income homes, travel more frequently, and spend more while on vacation. It makes sense to me, my friends and I are in general gay (sorry scott) and if we can find two pennies to rub together we go on a trip. We find a way to take at least one trip a year (usually multiple), even though we are full time students who make almost no money. People want to tap into the booming “gay travel” market. Even my home city. Right here in the city of brotherly love (and I do mean in the gay way) we have expanding recognition of the gayborhood, print ads in gay publications, and a massive online campaign to encourage gay travelers to check out the historic Philadelphia area. (Plus we have casinos now so visit!).
What is interesting to me is Vegas always seemed a little gay. It doesn’t really need to gay up its image. There are 24 hour parties, strip clubs, gambling, and drinking. It is essentially a circuit party with a lot of straight people. The shows are outrageous, the performers are divas, and the drag is superb. I went this summer for a few days with the family and still managed to see an adult lesbian vampire show. I associated Vegas with wild bachleor parties, spring break, 21st birthdays, and gays. But in reality there were tons of families and straight married couples when I was there.
I saw a sign in Paris (the hotel) for gay weddings when I was there, but really thought nothing of it. But the article pointed out a lot of resorts are offering ceremony packages. I think there would be some serious money if Nevada would legalize gay marriage.
What I look forward to even more than potential hotel deals and a stronger feeling of acceptance in Sin City, is the advertisements. The early ads I have seen have been very coy with little hints as to the targeted market, not direct “GAYS COME HERE NOW” ads. I think they are cute, but effective. One was as simple as two manicured hands cutting a wedding cake, another featured a sink that had two men’s razors on it. But as the money flows, the ads will get more brazen. I want to see slutty, stripper filled gay ads.