5 LGBT winter travel picks for 2015

By on December 17, 2014 

WinterTravel2015

Winter travel can often be hectic with the potential for weather delays. But with so many great options awaiting, it’s worth taking the risk (and maybe buying some travel insurance). The upcoming season brings such fun opportunities as popping champagne in Sin City and cruising to Aussieland. Here our are 5 top picks.

Las Vegas

When it comes to amazing places for ringing in the New Year, Las Vegas is among the leaders. And this year, gay travelers from around the world can take part in Evolve Vegas NYE, a three-day over-the-top celebration, from Tuesday, Dec. 30, to Thursday, Jan. 1. The schedule of events includes exclusive performances of Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil and Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas, multiple parties and opportunities to tour Sin City’s many attractions. The main New Year’s Eve party is being held at Havana Nightclub, with the evening to include special appearances by Jujubee and Raven from RuPaul’s Drag Race, viewing of the Strip’s iconic fireworks show at midnight, and music by the Abbey Los Angeles resident DJ Casey Alva. The MGM Grand, which recently completed a $175 million renovation, is serving as the host hotel. For more information, visit lasvegas.com.

SEE WHO ELSE MADE THE LIST! 

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Same-sex marriage welcomed by Strip resorts, tourism officials

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At the Aria’s wedding chapel, spouses-to-be can choose from two lounges in which to prepare themselves for the big ceremony: one for grooms and another for brides.

Their layouts evoke traditional gender expectations, with the guys getting a pool table and the larger bride’s lounge boasting plenty of mirrors.

Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Nevada, the lounge layout might give pause in how to separate the spouses. But Colleen Kestel-Raidmae, the chapel’s director, has had some experience with this — her chapel has been offering same-sex commitment ceremonies since it opened last year.

“We leave it up to the couple,” she said about which partner gets which room. “Whichever one prefers to play pool over having a larger mirror, we let them decide that among themselves. Sometimes — and this goes for all wedding couples — they’ll choose to both be in the larger room because they’re okay with seeing each other before the wedding.”

A federal appellate court ruling allowing same-sex marriages in Nevada is ushering in some changes at the Aria chapel, however. Kestel-Raidmae said she’s trying to organize chapels across MGM Resorts International’s properties on the Strip to receive training from the Gay Wedding Institute to help them better cater to same-sex customers.

In the meantime, the Aria chapel is introducing same-sex wedding promotions, making paperwork gender neutral and including photos of same-sex couples on marketing materials.

“It’s actually a fairly extensive process to make all of the changes,” Kestel-Raidmae said. “But I think everyone’s very excited. It’s something that Nevada should have done years ago.”

Since Nevada’s ban on same-sex unions was lifted last week, about one in 10 calls about reserving the Aria chapel has been from same-sex couples, Kestel-Raidmae said. To attract more, the Aria chapel is offering 20 percent off any wedding package and 10 percent off food and beverage packages to same-sex couples who book before the end of the year.

One package that includes a limo from the marriage license bureau to the hotel, 90 minutes of chapel time, the officiant, live Internet broadcasting of the ceremony and one night’s stay, regularly goes for $3,300 on a Saturday.

Similarly, Caesars Entertainment announced that same-sex couples can receive 15 percent off wedding ceremonies or vow renewals at any of its chapels through March 1. MGM and Caesars hosted same-sex weddings on Saturday, at Mandalay Bay and the Flamingo, respectively.

The embrace of legal same-sex marriage by these and other casino-resorts in Las Vegas fits into the industry’s generally strong track record of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Caesars, MGM, Wynn Resorts and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas — companies which, taken together, account for most of the Strip resorts — have all scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. It is based on a survey that companies complete measuring their policies and practices relevant to LGBT employees.

Additionally, when the Nevada Senate considered a constitutional amendment last year to legalize same-sex unions, representatives from Caesars and MGM spoke in support.

What’s in it for them? Aside from cashing in on a chunk of the millions of dollars that same-sex marriage will bring to Nevada, they see it as a way to improve their relationships with customers.

Gwen Migita, vice president of sustainability and corporate citizenship for Caesars, said legalizing same-sex marriage makes a “significant difference” to guests and employees by making their Las Vegas experiences more “whole and fair.”

Phyllis James, executive vice president and chief diversity officer at MGM, said her company tries to create a welcoming atmosphere for LGBT guests.

“There’s a distinct difference in an environment that treats you on an equal footing with other customers who are not like you, and having a staff that is going to be comfortable and respectful in the way they interact with you, having a comfortable environment to walk around in which people are not … acting like you’re strange because you’re a same-sex couple and you’re walking down the hall holding hands,” she said.

Las Vegas regularly ranks among the top LGBT travel destinations as surveyed by Community Marketing Inc. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has been marketing to the LGBT demographic for years, famously this year with a commercial called “The Check In.”

As a whole, the Las Vegas tourism market may have even better luck attracting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourists as same-sex marriages become legal in every state, said Mya Reyes, president of the Las Vegas Gay Visitors Bureau.

Until then, some couples will face the prospect of not having their marriage recognized when they return home.

“Once same-sex marriage is legalized nationally, that will change the entire scenario,” Reyes said. Still, she stressed that when it comes to the current ruling, “Undoubtedly, it will have a positive effect. I’m certain of that.”

Like the resorts, Reyes’ company is wasting no time trying to attract same-sex wedding tourism. The gay visitors bureau is revamping its website to accommodate wedding services, she said, and it’s encouraging guests to tie the knot when they come for Evolve Vegas NYE, a gay New Year’s event produced by the bureau.

SOURCE: VegasInc.com

Evolve Vegas NYE announces headliners and new package options!

Vegas, Las Vegas. Gay Vegas, MGM Grand, Jujubee, Raven

Evolve Vegas NYE, the first International New Year’s Eve event of its kind in North America, takes place December 30 – January 2 in the city recently named Favorite American City to by OutTraveler.  The Ultimate Package provides accommodations in the luxurious MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and admission to all events.  The Party Package allows you to book your own accommodations but still “EVOLVE” with the crowd!  And the single EVOLUTION ticket promises a night full on fantasy and excitement.
Headlining the Main Event, appropriately entitled ‘EVOLUTION’, will be Jujubee & Raven from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, just one of many OMG! Moments you’ll experience throughout the night.  This will be the most exciting NYE party of the year as we welcome guests from more than 30 countries and provide entertainment and experiences that only happen in Vegas.  Come “EVOLVE’ with us when the clock strikes midnight and you dance your way into the New Year with DJ Casey Alva, the Abbey’s resident DJ in Los Angeles.  You’ll also experience the Iconic Las Vegas Fireworks from a private EVOLUTION viewing area.
Transportation will still be provided from the host hotel the MGM Grand and VIP packages are available! Tickets on sale now at www.EvolveVegasNYE.com

“PUCKER UP for your chance to see Britney Spears on New Year’s Eve!”

NL Evolve Kiss Contest LargeWe’re asking people to #EvolveKISS the one you love or even SMOOCH your POOCH and KISS the competition goodbye!
There are many ways to enter! Upload to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram a kissing photo and tag #EvolveKISS!  You can also upload your photo directly to our Facebook and Website! http://bit.ly/KISSLV
Get creative and practice for the special KISS at midnight at Evolve Vegas, the first International Gay New Year’s Eve Celebration in Las Vegas!
Grand Prize Winner will receive 2 tickets to the New Year’s Eve performance to Britney Spears and tickets to all 3 Evolve Vegas parties taking place December 30th– January 2nd.  Second & third place photos receive American Express Giftcards!
Our main NYE Event: “EVOLUTION” will take place at the Havana Nightclub in The New Tropicana with special guests Jujubee & Raven from Ru Paul’s Drag Race.  Package and individual tickets on SALE now at www.EvolveVegasNYE.com

GOODBYE KRAVE, HELLO EQUALIBRIUM

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Gay Vegas Article Image

Only months away from what would be Krave’s 10 year anniversary, we received confirmation that on July 27th, 2014 Krave’s doors closed once again at what was to be their temporary home located at the Tommy Wind Theatre. This comes shortly after their previous downtown location slated as “Krave Massive” became what you could call a massive failure after a whirlwind of bad press due to the previous owner Kelly Murphy’s past of indiscretions which included financial impropriety and prison time. August 1994 in San Antonio, TX,  Murphy pleaded guilty to bank fraud  when he got caught using his 7-year-old son’s Social Security number to obtain a total amount of $73,500 on three different bank loans.  Murphy was released from jail in December 1995.

On October 2nd, in an unusual hearing at the Las Vegas City Council Kelly Murphy’s two liquor  licenses were denied and the publicly broadcast meeting ended Murphy’s nightclub career in  Las Vegas and any chance of receiving further city funding. A gentlemen stating his name was Matthew Greppin known to everyone else in Las Vegas as Kelly Murphy’s longtime employee “Tyler Caiden or DJ Tyler Caiden” tried to convince the city council that he had just purchased drink and drag a day before the hearing. Later, the original owner of Krave, Sia Amiri, claimed that he had purchased the Krave Massive liquor licence. All claims were denied and in an immediate response Sia Amiri moved Krave into the old Empire Ballroom space to try and revitalize the name that Kelly Murphy had so badly tarnished with his questionable business practices such as the billboard above Piranha Nightclub, his office space across their street and his constant attacks on Las Vegas Pride with his own “Official Pride Events”.

Who will be Vegas’ next gay megaclub on the strip? The answer is club EQUALibrium.This 21,000  square foot family operated  mega club that is actually located on the strip and not inside a casino, is the newest and largest gay nightclub to be introduced to Las Vegas. Following a multi million dollar renovation Arlene Riccardo says she was eager to launch EQUALibrium.Arlene, a beautiful blonde italian woman from New York, states “It’s always been one of my dreams to have my own gay club. People always say that I am a gay man trapped in a womans body, and its true. I love my gay friends and drag queens and I’m all about equality for everyone. That’s what inspired the name EQUALibrium, equal rights for everyone.” Arlene made it very clear that Club EQUALibrium is in no way shape or form involved with Krave, Kelly Murphy or Sia Amiri.

Club EQUALibrium
has started operating Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays opening nightly at 10pm. The club features the only 18 and over event in Las Vegas every Sunday. Aerialist performers “The Sky Boys” bring exciting entertainment to the nightclub along withthemed nights, drag performances, special guest celebrity performers, cash prizes,  travel giveaways and more every weekend. The venue has absolutely everything. The two level nightclub features a massive theater stage for shows and concerts, a gorgeous balcony terrace with a view of the strip, over 40 VIP booths, 4 huge bars, a brand new state of the art sound and lighting system, confetti launchers, snow machines, and unique visualization shows. When asked about the locals, Arlene stated that “locals will always have an option for free entry on most nights. We love our locals, they are who we cater to more than anything, and they are who nevada needs to give equal rights to, marriage is for everyone, by the way.” The nightclub features the hottest male and female Go-Go’s on the strip, affordable drink prices such as $5 long islands on Saturdays and all you can drink liquor busts. The venue is located at 3765 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Las Vegas, NV 89109 across from the Monte Carlo in between Walgreens and Fatburger. For VIP reservations call 702-763-7077 and for more information visit:equalvegas.com

Earn Commission with Evolve Vegas NYE – 3-Day International Gay New Year’s Eve Celebration!

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Las Vegas was recently voted Favorite American City to Visit by OutTraveler Magazine and this year there’s even more reason to spend time in the City That REALLY Never Sleeps!  Evolve Vegas NYE is more than a party, it’s an EXPERIENCE and guests are attending from more than 30 countries on 6 continents.  The host hotel is the luxurious MGM Grand and events take place throughout the city.  Travel agents from Amsterdam to Australia are booking Standard and VIP commissionable packages, and the event promises not to disappoint.

Shows, receptions, tours, parties, excursions, dining and shopping are just a few of the many activities planned for this exciting event and packages are all inclusive of all activities, land transportation and hotel stay including complimentary breakfast.

The Las Vegas event is followed by an optional weekend excursion to West Hollywood, California where the fun continues.  Accommodations are at the European-style Sofitel Hotel at Beverly Hills and events include a Bar Crawl on Santa Monica Blvd., leisure time at Santa Monica Beach, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and a Hollywood tour including a stop at the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  The last evening features a closing party at the Here Lounge where entertainment and fun people will take you into the wee hours of the morning.

Visit http://www.evolvevegasnye.com for more information.  If you are a travel agent or tour operator interested in selling Evolve Vegas NYE packages, please contact donovan@evolvevegasnye.com.

To view the Evolve Vegas NYE press release click here.

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You’re A Gay Man

The library is open.

1. “Work”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: Mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment.

What it means to gay men: A congratulatory declaration of support, praise or approval usually yelled with passion. Made popular by RuPaul; appropriated into pop culture by gay icon Britney Spears.

2. “High School”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: A school that typically comprises grades 9 through 12, attended after primary school or middle school.

What it means to gay men: Four long years of trying to enjoy making out with girls.

3. “Girlfriend”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

Vertical Entertainment / Via myniceprofile.com

What it usually means: A regular female companion with whom a person has a romantic or sexual relationship.

What it means to gay men: Any of your female BFFs who ignorantly call you their “GBF” and/or constantly ask you to go shopping with them.

4. “Sunday”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: The day of the week before Monday, often observed as a day of rest and religious worship.

What it means to gay men: The funday of the week before Monday, often observed as the last day of the week to work before your actual work week starts.

5. “Top”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

NBC / Via mouthymag.com

What it usually means: The highest or uppermost point, part, or surface of something.

What it means to gay men: The man who gives during intercourse as opposed toreceiving. *Passes the lube*

6. “Bottom”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

Universal Pictures / Via final—boss.tumblr.com

What it usually means: The lowest point or part of something.

What it means to gay men: The brave man who receives during intercourse as opposed to giving. POWER BOTTOMS UNITE!

7. “Flip-Flop”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

ABC / Via crushable.com

What it usually means: A light sandal, typically of plastic or rubber, with a thong between the big and second toe.

What it means to gay men: The act of switching between topping and bottoming during intercourse. Cheers to being versatile!

8. “Slay”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: To kill something in a violent way.

What it means to gay men: To completely dominate something in an epic fashion leaving the people around you utterly flabbergasted and unworthy of your presence.

9. “Woof”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: The barking sound made by a dog.

What it means to gay men: A term of endearment used in the gay community to describe someone who is hot, sexy, or fine. Like an excited puppy when he sees his master.

10. “Queen”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

Logo / Via dragofficial.com

What it usually means: The female ruler of an independent state, especially one who inherits the position by right of birth.

What it means to gay men: A flamboyant and sassy gay man. Always FABULOUS.

11. “Bear”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: A large, heavy, mammal that walks on the soles of its feet, with thick fur and a very short tail.

What it means to gay men: A classification of a hairy gay man who has a large body type. Like if John Goodman was gay, he’d totally be a bear.

12. “Twinkie/Twink”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: A small finger-shaped sponge cake with a white synthetic cream filling.

What it means to gay men: An attractive, boyish-looking, young gay man. Usually found hairless in the wild by means of shaving and/or using Nair all over the body.

13. “Daddy”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

Bravo / Via queerty.com

What it usually means: One’s father or the oldest, best, or biggest example of something.

What it means to gay men: A typically older, financially established gay man (usually whom you’d like to be sexually involved with). Exhibit Gay: Andy Cohen.

14. “Beard”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

Paramount Pictures / Via kendragarden.com

What it usually means: A growth of hair on the chin and lower cheeks of a man’s face.

What it means to gay men: A woman used as a cover to hide a closeted man’s homosexuality.

15. “Shade”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: A spot of darkness and coolness caused by shelter from direct sunlight.

What it means to gay men: To insult or give attitude towards someone in a confident manner. Usually thrown.

16. “Scruff”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: Adjective used to describe the facial hair stubble on a man’s face.

What it means to gay men: A gay social networking app to meet other gay men when Grindr just isn’t working out anymore. *Unlocks pictures*

17. “Family”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

What it usually means: A group of people who are related to each other.

What it means to gay men: Terminology used to refer to anyone else who is also gay. Much like Olive Garden, “When you’re queer, you’re family.”

18. “Bye”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

Disney / Via youtube.com

What it usually means: A term used when parting from someone or used at the end of a conversation.

What it means to gay men: A term used prior to walking away from a conversation in an agressive manner when you literally just can’t anymore.

19. “Out”

19 Words That Mean Something Completely Different When You're A Gay Man

FOX / Via glee.wikia.com

What it usually means: Not at home or at one’s place of work.

What it means to gay men: Having your sexuality finally known to everyone in your life, giving you the freedom to finally become true to yourself.

SOURCE: BuzzFeed.com

Evolve Vegas NYE 2014-2015 Packages now ON SALE!

Evolve Vegas NYE

GAY. 
LAS VEGAS. 
NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION.

Need we say more?

It’s never too early to start thinking about New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas!  #EvolveVegas is a first of its kind experience and features 3 days of Las Vegas shows, parties, special events and more! The international event will host gay men from over 30 countries and is sure to be the highlight of 2014 & 2015!

Packages include a 3 night stay at the fabulous MGM Grand Hotel, 3 glamorous parties, 2 Las Vegas shows, 2 special events, shopping, dining, gaming and the party continues with an optional weekend excursion to West Hollywood, California!  Both Evolve & Evolve VIP packages are available online and payment plans are available. BOOK EARLY to reserve your spot as prices will increase.

Will you “EVOLVE” when the clock strikes midnight? 

Visit our website www.EvolveVegasNYE.com for more details and information.