The last time we were in Las Vegas, our first stop was at the City Hall where we had an appointment with Mayor Carolyn Goodman so that she could welcome the “Gay Travelers” to the city. She is one of the most professional, friendly and fun Mayor’s in the entire country. All of Las Vegas loves her and we can understand why!
Las Vegas has over 62,000 hotel rooms and last year they had over 40 Million visitors! The best and cheapest way to get to and stay in Las Vegas is to get a ‘fly and hotel’ package. Check the Internet as they have specials all the time. It really doesn’t matter where you stay as long as you stay on the STRIP! All resort hotels there have very nice rooms and within walking distance to all the shows and other resort hotels.
There are dozens of shows to see while visiting Las Vegas. The major show to see is the fabulous and very entertaining Frank Marino’s DIVAS. Frank has been performing in Las Vegas continuously longer than any entertainer in the history of Las Vegas. He has a very devoted following (including us) that has been returning to see his show year after year after year. He performs at the LINQ, which is the old Imperial Palace/Quad resort hotel, across the street from Caesars Place. Check out his website: www.frankmarino.com Talk about glitz and glamour! AND exciting! You know why he has performed for all these years and has such a packed house almost every night? Because Frank is a PROFESSIONAL and he loves what he does. After performing to over 10 million people, he is in the Guinness Book of World Records of having the most performances on any Las Vegas stage.
Bally’s Jubilee which has all the fabulous showgirls and boys with their feathers, glitz and glamour is a must see. Not too many shows have that anymore, which is really sad to say. Visitor’s flock to Las Vegas to see glitz and glamour! Jubilee! Is Las Vegas’ last classic showgirl revue, with over 30 years of rhinestones and feathers making it the best-loved Las Vegas entertainment tradition and is almost the only topless show left in Las Vegas. Information on that show is at www.caesars.com/ballys-las-vegas/shows/jubilee#.VcinQ5VRHIU
For those into magic, JAN ROUVEN is performing at the Tropicana Resort Hotel. He gives a fantastic performance and the audiences really love him. He does however need to dress better. Check out his website: www.janrouven.com One can also see Cher, Celine Dion and John Elton if you are wanting to shell out the big bucks. Two tickets may cost more than your apartment rental or house payment ! They have a half dozen different Cirque du Soleil shows if you are into that type of entertainment.
And then there is THE FUNNIEST and DIRTIEST show that we have ever seen in Las Vegas in all of our years of going there. ABSINTHE plays nightly at the Stripside venue at Caesar’s Palace. The Emcee forewarns everybody at the very beginning of the show about it’s content and suggests people go across the street to see Donny and Marie if they think that they will be offended. Not ONE person left. We were ashamed to laugh so much but during the entire show it was a “laugh riot”. They had jugglers, acrobats, high wire acts and every kind of performances that one can image PLUS the two co-stars are, well, let’s just say that you would not be wanting to be seated next to your grandparents while watching these two marvelous entertainers doing their skits. Penny does a skit with two sock puppets that you have to see to believe. This is a show in the round and you are so close to the performers that you can almost touch them. All we can say is DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW ! It is dynamite, raunchy, fun, funny and will keep you laughing throughout the entire show. Their website is: absinthevegas.com
There are so many things to see and do in Las Vegas. They have three major museums and we went to all of them. The new MOB Museum is located in the old downtown. Check out their website at: www.themobmuseum.org.
The NEON M– USEUM located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North. This is an outside museum filled with past neon signs from the hotels, casinos and restaurants in Las Vegas. It is truly amazing for visitors to be enthralled with the history of the city. Their tour guides are extremely well versed in what they are talking about and this is a must see tour. The tour takes about an hour. When it is hot in Las Vegas, as it usually is, be sure and take their early morning tour. Their website is: www.neonmuseum.org.
The next museum which is “BEYOND FABULOUS” is the LAS VEGAS SHOWGIRL M– USEUM and the Director is Grant Philipo. He has lived in Las Vegas for years and knows everybody and everything about Las Vegas. This is a “private” museum and you must make reservations to see it. NO TRIP TO LAS VEGAS would be complete unless you have seen this collection of costumes and headdresses! We are NOT talking about a collection of three or four costumes, we are talking about hundreds and hundreds and HUNDREDS of costumes from the past 50 years in Las Vegas! The collection is absolutely breath-taking! They have over 20,000 artifacts in their collection. There are over 100 mannequins on display and their mannequins are custom painted with glass eyes and anatomically correct. Grant has been collecting since 1976. BE SURE AND VISIT THIS M– USEUM NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN LAS VEGAS !!!!! The website is: www.lasvegasshowgirlmuseum.com.
The most wonderful Museum was the famous Liberace Museum which was the #1 place to visit in Las Vegas. Sadly about 4 years ago, it closed.
Dining while in Las Vegas can be a very daunting experience to say the least. At Picasso’s restaurant located at the Bellagio Resort hotel, we had the ‘prix fixe dinner” with wine pairing for $173.00 per person. We dined at the BORDER GRILL at the Mandalay Bay which is called “modern Mexican”. We do not care what they call it, but it was the best of the best! If you are not winning all that much money at the slot machines, you can cruise the Strip and dine many places for under $10.00 so it really is all about YOU and where you want to spend YOUR money.
Over the years, Gay bars have come and gone and come and gone. However when one goes to Las Vegas, it really is all about having a fun and fabulous time so it is easy to see why the Gay bar scene is not that good. Some trendy bars charge a $30 cover and they soon learned that no one would pay that, so they are out of business. They have a leather bar, cowboy bar, disco bar however the smaller ‘local’ bars are a lot more fun.
Before traveling to Las Vegas be sure and check out the local gay publication, www.qvegas.com. Their website will update you on the gay scene and activities in Las Vegas. For shows and other information, go to www.lasvegas.com and www.vegas.com/shows
On a special note, Las Vegas is very proud to have one of the finest Gay and Lesbian Community Centers in the country. Located near downtown at 401 South Maryland Pkway . Their website is: www.thecenterlv.com
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone.
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-Winning, Celebrity Travel Columnists. Proud members of the IGLTA You can email them at [email protected] or visit their website at: http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com