EVER SINCE THE FIRST glittering marquee rose above the Strip, Las Vegas has been a legendary destination for business and leisure travel. And in more recent decades, it’s carved a reputation as a growing hot spot for LGBTQ travelers as well.
“You might think that a town called Sin City wouldn’t live up to its own hype,” said Jim Werner, co-owner, Fagabond.com, an LGBTQ travel site. “Well, Las Vegas is just as surreal as its high-reaching nickname. Cher impersonators. Pool parties. Feather boas. This is Vegas on a normal day.”
Much of the liveliest nightlife takes place along the so-called Fruit Loop, where a club called Piranha holds weekly events, including after-hours parties that start at 6 a.m., as well as VIP packages with top-shelf liquor. FreeZone, meanwhile, hosts events including talent contests and music bingo and — like many bars in Las Vegas — has gaming facilities on site.
Gaming, indeed, is a big draw in Las Vegas — as is the city’s varied live entertainment. Ricky Martin, among the newest performers on the Strip, performs at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo in April, June, July and September of this year. Other gay-popular singers appearing this year include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears.
Nearly every Las Vegas hotel is LGBTQ-friendly, including the MGM Grand and the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, both members of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Also popular are the Hard Rock Hotel, especially close to the Fruit Loop, and the Luxor, which has a weekly LGBTQ pool party during the summer called Temptation Sundays.
For those tying the knot, Las Vegas ramped up a variety of same-sex destination wedding options. A company called Viva Las Vegas, for example, is among the companies offering decidedly destination-appropriate “Elvis weddings,” complete with a performing impersonator.
Top annual LGBTQ events in the city include Las Vegas Pride, which takes place in October with a night parade and festival. Sin City Shootout, billed as the largest annual LGBTQ sporting event in the world, takes place in January, attracting some 9,000 participants for 25 different sport competitions, from arm wrestling to water polo. To be sure, not every activity in Las Vegas is about “sin.” But there are certainly lots of temptations.
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Escape to Italy’s Gavi region and settle in for one of the new experiential summer stay offerings within the peaceful setting of Locanda La Raia. The intimately proportioned, 12-room boutique mansion hotel is located between the cities of Milan and Genoa. The setting? A 180-hectare estate comprised of vineyards, meadows and forests of chestnut trees, elderflower and acacia, all of which provide a habitat for birds and wildlife.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently announced the final phase of a $100 million resort-wide transformation, set to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Located across 54 acres of pristine, wide-open space overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a sanctuary for guests seeking a luxurious escape.
Recently, more than 345 million people globally watched OMNIYAT light up the sky for the launch of AVA at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection, Dubai thanks to more than 500 drones. Now, OMNIYAT will once again illuminate the sky with one light to signify the groundbreaking of AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, Dubai.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.