GAY DAYS Will Come To Las Vegas in 2012

Thousands  of gay and lesbian tourists arrive in Orlando next week for their annual Gay Days celebration at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, but starting next year, those travelers will have a second option come summer’s end: Las Vegas.

The organizers of Orlando’s Gay Days said this week they’re expanding and will host a Gay Days Las Vegas starting in September 2012. The event is designed to complement the annual expo and party in Orlando.

“When we decided to start researching Vegas, … the feedback was just tremendous,” said Chris Alexander-Manley, president of Gay Days Inc., who noted the expansion will coincide with Gay Days 21st anniversary. “We say, ‘We’re 21, we’re legal, we’re going to Las Vegas.'”

Gay Days, based in Gotha, started in 1991 when about 3,000 members of the gay community wearing red gathered at the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday in June.

This year, the group is expecting 160,000 people to attend what has grown into a weeklong series of events that includes theme-parks visits, pool parties and a travel-retail exposition.

Starting next year, Gay Days Inc. is hoping to replicate that experience at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, where it has signed a three-year contract.

September 4-10, 2012. As in Gay Days Orlando, the Las Vegas event will include a Travel-Retail Expo, pool parties, and events all around town with a portion of proceeds benefiting local non-profit organizations.