Your Guide to Gay Las Vegas
Mike Ciriaco

Despite its laid-back veneer, Los Angeles is inhabited by a mostly goal-oriented populace. From entertainment professionals to business owners to artists of every imaginable discipline, Angelenos toil to achieve their dreams. But they play as hard as they work. 

Fortunately, SoCal has its own neon-lit Sodom and Gomorrah just across the state line. Las Vegas was conceived as a gangster amusement park in the 1950s and continues to dispense hedonism to its copious tourists, especially the gays. We’ve compiled the following guide to highlight the best LGBT-friendly attractions and amenities Sin City has to offer.


4 Places to Lay Your Head


1. Luxor
It’s hard to miss Luxor's onyx pyramid shooting the world's brightest beam of light from its apex. But even better than the Egyptian décor is the hotel's LGBT-friendly attitude. Luxor hosts the strip's original gay summer pool party, Temptation Sundays, and offers LGBT packages. luxor.com/lgbt

2. Blue Moon Resort
Vegas' sole gay resort features a clothing-optional pool compound, a world-famous Jacuzzi grotto with a 10-foot waterfall and a 200-square-foot steam room. bluemoonlv.com

3. Wynn
This luxury resort provides its LGBT guests with a Pride Concierge to make dinner reservations, arrange show tickets and suggest gay-friendly nightclubs. wynnpride.com

4. Mandarin Oriental
While the Mandarin Oriental is a non-gaming resort, it does provide a two-story spa, several dining options and is stumbling distance from the Strip’s finest—the perfect hotel for gay visitors who are looking to avoid gambling but take advantage of every other sin. mandarinoriental.com


6 Fun Vegas Attractions

1. Krave Movie Theater
Guest House Films co-founders Rob Williams and Rodney Johnson have teamed up with Krave Massive's mastermind Kelly Murphy to open an LGBT movie theater in the world's largest gay nightclub. Guest House Theaters plan to screen queer-themed  films ranging from contemporary features to classic retrospectives. kravemassive.com


2. Drink and Drag
Another innovation from Kelly Murphy, Drink and Drag is the world's first drag queen-staffed bar and gaming venue. The site features 12 bowling lanes, billiards, 100-inch projector console gaming, interactive gaming chairs, air hockey and table-top board games. drinkanddrag.com

3. World Famous Gold & Silver 
Reality television enthusiasts will recognize this pawn shop as the setting of Pawn Stars. Check out the cache of hocked treasures and possibly catch a glimpse of Old Man Harrison, Big Hoss and Chumlee. gspawn.com

4.  Stratosphere Tower
Standing upright at a hulking 1,149 feet, this is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. The Stratosphere is a perfect place to snap pics for Instagram, and if you’re a thrill junkie, try Sky Jump Las Vegas, a controlled freefall off the sructure’s 108th story. stratospherehotel.com

5. Hoover Dam
Ever wonder where Vegas gets the electricity to power all those glitzy neon lights? Take a tour of nearby Hoover Dam and learn everything you didn’t know about hydroelectricity. 

6. Desert Adult Books
This old-school adult shop offers a wide selection of titillating DVDs as well as a heavy dollop of raunch. Be sure to check out the vintage peep show rooms in back. mysexystore.com



4 Places to Party


1. Krave Massive 
Aspiring to be the largest nightclub in the world, Krave Massive is slated to open spring 2013 and is guaranteed to amaze small-town visitors and big city dwellers alike. kravemassive.com

2. Piranha
Voted ‘Best Gay Nightclub Experience’ by Seven magazine, the all-new Piranha—located in the Vegas ‘Fruit Loop’—showcases a different party every night of the week. piranhavegas.com

3. Share
Las Vegas' newest gay nightclub is eager to share the love with parties like Pop Thursday and the Vegas incarnation of WeHo’s own Stripper Circus. sharenightclub.com

4. Buffalo
This low-key leather dive bar is great for East Siders who may be visiting. Think of it as the Faultline of the Vegas 'Fruit Loop.' tinyurl.com/buffalovegas


3 Places to Eat Like a Queen

1. Firefly
This tapas bar is perfect for large groups who enjoy sharing multiple dishes. The atmosphere is chill, and while signature cocktails are available, we'd recommend the house specialty—three-day-marinated sangria. fireflylv.com

2. Mon Ami Gabi
The Vegas Strip's iteration of a classic French bistro. Indulge in traditional Gallic  cuisine, including onion soup au gratin and roast chicken & frites. Pair your meal with one of the restaurant’s 80 boutique French wine varietals. monamigabi.com

3. Sage
Located inside the Aria Resort and Casino, Sage tends to attract a prominent international foodie crowd. The specialty here is splicing contemporary American comfort food with global influences. arialasvegas.com


4 Shows to See

1. Shania Twain
Shania Twain made history last November when she stampeded more than 40 horses down the Vegas Strip,  effectively publicizing the arrival of her new show, Still the One, at Caesars Palace. The kinetic production escorts audiences through the various phases of Shania's life and career, featuring hit songs like  “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” and, of course, “Still the One.” Runs through June 2013. shaniainvegas.com

2. Zumanity
Check out the more sensual side of Cirque de Soleil as the French Canadian performance troupe tackles adult themes in this erotic cabaret at the New York New York Hotel. cirquedusoleil.com

3. Britney
As of February, it’s been confirmed that Britney Spears will start a residency at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. While all the details aren’t currently in place, gays everywhere have already commenced drooling. planethollywoodresort.com

4. Divas Las Vegas
Can't wait to get your Britney fix? Divas Las Vegas gives you the next best thing. America's Got Talent's Derrick Berry—also known as Derricka—serves up fresh Britney realness with a posse of fellow female celebrity impersonators. thequadlv.com/shows


3 Prime Vegas Photo Ops


1. Fremont Street Experience
This pedestrian mall occupies the area once known as Glitter Gulch. The street now serves as home to the city’s New Year’s Eve festivities and offers up picture-worthy spots like the Viva Vision LED canopy, nightly light and sound shows and the Neonopolis entertainment complex. vegasexperience.com

2. Eiffel Tower
Find a bit of Parisian romance in the heart of Vegas. Ascend to the apex of this iconic replica to nab pictures of the breathtaking view—and then enjoy the French cuisine offered at the restaurant located beneath it. eiffeltowerrestaurant.com

3. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
The quintessential Vegas landmark, this sign serves as a bridge between the heydays of ‘50s Vegas and the present. Gather your friends and strike your best Rat Pack poses.


PREVIEW: Las Vegas Pride
Who would have thought a city of sin could have so much pride? 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Las Vegas Pride Parade and Festival (Sept. 6-7), which celebrates and educates the community by promoting diversity and LGBT pride. While performances at the Clark County Amphitheater have not yet been announced, last year's entertainment included the talents of tart-tongued out comedian Leslie Jordan, DJ Pornstar, singer Matt Zarley and Cirque de Soleil's kinkiest offspring, Zumanity.

The only confirmed element thus far is Vegas Pride Royalty title-holder Selena D'Angelo. The transgendered Hawai’i native galloped the globe as a celebrity stylist before evolving into a stage performer and relocating to Vegas. The fiery diva has merited several titles, including Miss Galaxy and Miss Gay Las Vegas. You won’t want to miss her.


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