Mandalay Bay: Viva Las Gay-gas

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For the past three years, Community Marketing, Inc., has ranked the most popular destinations for gay and lesbian leisure travelers. The top four meccas have remained unchanged: #1 New York City, #2 Las Vegas, #3 San Francisco and #4 Los Angeles/West Hollywood. The big surprise for many is that Las Vegas outranks San Francisco and LA.

Las Vegas is a safe, progressive destination that has been working hard to reach out to welcome gay and lesbian guests. A typical GLBT traveler will attend one or more of the high profile shows along the strip. Hot tickets this year include Cher, Barry Manilow, and Bette Midler. Depending on your idea of fun and your level of taste, you might want to catch gay fave Charo, Donny and Marie, Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity featuring drag emcee Mistress of Seduction and 2Men, Blue Man Group, The Lion King, Thunder from Down Under, or Penn & Teller.

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Hanging out at Mandalay Bay’s Moorea Beach Club

There is plenty of nighttime action in Las Vegas for the gay traveler – inside and outside of the casinos. Krave, located inside Planet Hollywood, is the only gay nightclub on the Strip and attracts a trendy crowd; Saturday is women’s night. Head to the “Fruit Loop,” a cluster of gay bars and clubs one block south of the Hard Rock on Paradise Rd. between Harmon and Tropicana, including Gipsy, Freezone, Piranha and 8 1/2 Ultra Lounge. Most gay clubs in Las Vegas begin to pick up after 11:00 PM. Since there is no “last call” in Vegas, some clubs are open until dawn, while others never close.

The one gay-only hotel in Las Vegas is the Blue Moon Resort. While it is a cab-ride from the strip, and a converted motel, the Blue Moon Resort is the only local accommodation that provides a clothing-optional hot tub and steam room for its guests. There are plenty of gay-friendly hotels on the strip that offer high-end service and quality accommodations. Mandalay Bay, THEhotel, and New York-New York are well-known gay-friendly hotels. Because of its popularity with gay visitors, Mandalay Bay is sometimes referred to as “Mandalay Gay” while THEhotel is renowned for its Bathhouse spa.

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Las Vegas Strip at Night

Las Vegas is home to some of the biggest pools and craziest poolside parties in the world. European-style sunbathing has become trendy here. The Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay is a great place to hang out. On Sundays, don’t miss Luxor’s “Sunkissed” pool party featuring guest DJs.

Popular day trips include Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.

Bring your friends, let loose and see for yourself why Las Vegas has become one of the hottest destinations for gay travelers.

NOTE: This article was sent to me via email and available for syndication and for republish. I’m not normally a fan of copying and pasting articles but thought this was a pretty informative read so I thought I’d share since I had permission to do so. Though I haven’t been to Vegas in years, reading this article makes me wanna to check it out real soon. Homorazzi cast members, Kevin & Stephen, are actually heading down to the Strip in the fall for Kylie Minogue’s concert. I’m sure they’ll have some amazing stories from their trip.

  • Jonathan Lerner

    I actually just returned from Vegas, although I did not go there with my boyfriend, but rather to join a contingent of 600 of my fraternity brothers at a conference. We all stayed at the Flamingo and had a great time. This hotel had a pink colour theme and the slogan “the FABULOUS Flamingo”, as well as hosting gay-favourites Donny and Marie. While I didn’t have time to visit any gay clubs or see any major shows, I did find the city a lot of fun. Would I feel comfortable being openly affectionate with my boyfriend on the street, though? Probably not.

  • I agree with Jonathan.
    I’m sure there’s lots of “gay options” for night and events, but calling it a “progressive city”…? I certainly think the establishments are gay-friendly and hell, have to three quarters of the staff there are likely of the homo-variety, but vegas is and always will be the go-to destination for drunk, straight guys which to me isn’t quite my target audience for a kiss on the street with my guy… san fran yes, WeHo of course, NY sure, hell Seattle why not… but vegas? i’d definitely think twice.

  • bruin

    zumanity is not a good show. if you like the circus go see le reve /wynn or ka/mgm.

  • Matt

    I also didn’t find Vegas to be much of a gay destination, although I didn’t visit the Fruit Loop area. Yes, Krave was fun, but like others, I found Vegas full of scary-looking heterosexuals and drunken frat-guy types. I even snapped a picture inside the Bellagio of a hick wearing a shirt that read “Titties and Beer; Thank God I Ain’t Queer”. That one shot describes Vegas perfectly to me. I also found it not a terribly great destination. I don’t gamble, and I found that you do NOT get what you pay for. My boyfriend and I also stayed at the Flamingo, and we weren’t treated well by staff, or really, by any service people at all in Vegas (and it wasn’t homophobia, it was just general rudeness and gouging). I will not be going back.

  • Bahahaha, i love the quintessential vegas attire… that shirt does pretty much explain it all.
    I’ve been… glad I tried it, but traveling with a boyfriend (stop laughing) or a group of gays, vegas isn’t going to be on that maybe list of destinations.
    Gay stuff aside, not gambling and paying 18 times what you would normally is also a huge deterrent.

  • I have been to Vegas as well and have been to Krave, and it wasn’t very busy at all. Although I was there on a work trip, we did go out and didn’t find all that much going on as far as gay nightlife in comparison to other major US cities.

  • CAN’T WAIT FOR KYLIE IN VEGAS!!!! AAAAH!

  • Joel

    I agree with the reviews saying this town is pretty mediocre.

    I went there for New Years Eve 2008, and I wasn’t expecting a gay-friendly city at all. Although our night was AWESOME and filled with drunken debauchery, I was there with a group of straight friends, so there was no urge to start feeling up a boyfriend.

    The city attracts drunken rednecks and chest-thumping frat boys and everything is overpriced. Additionally, the hotels reek of that charming musty cigarette smell that only occurs in stagnant trailers when the carpet and drapes are steeped in smoke.

    Fun for getting plastered, but you can do that in any city.

  • Dax

    It’s not that Vegas is not gay friendly … it’s that it’s the most popular gambling spot for most Americans. This means, the vast majority of people on the street during the high seasons are visitors, many of which are themselves not gay friendly.

  • Andrew O’Ball

    Going to Vegas in 2011 … considering staying at the “new” Aria Hotel … is it gay friendly … does it have a spa? It’s a new property and I have their link on my FB but would prefer comments from a gay perspective … remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … 😉