Insight USA Insight LGBT options continue to grow in Las Vegas By Tovin Lapan / October 04, 2016 Share 1 Las Vegas now has a full calendar of LGBT-focused events, including its annual Pride weekend in October. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau -- When Liaison at Bally's closed in February 2015, the Strip was once again left with no dedicated LGBT nightclub. That vacancy was filled when Revolt opened in the Saxe Theater at Planet Hollywood at the end of September. But while the club will be a welcome addition to the LGBT nightlife scene, Las Vegas has a robust calendar of annual LGBT-focused events and several regular entertainment options on the Strip that cater to the LGBT community. Indeed, Las Vegas last year ranked as a top-five destination for both gay and bisexual men and lesbian and bisexual women, according to Community Marketing and Insights, a firm that conducts an annual survey of the LGBT market.That was not always the case however, and Vegas has done a great deal in the last decade to market itself to LGBT visitors."Ten years ago Las Vegas was not in the top 25 for travel," said John Tanzella, president and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. "They have made great strides in being more inclusive. The city has done a great job of keeping engaged and keeping the destination on the minds of LGBT travelers, not just domestically but internationally."The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has increased its marketing toward the LGBT community in the last decade, and the work has paid dividends. In 2014, the LVCVA created, for the first time, a commercial specifically targeting LGBT tourists using the iconic "What Happens Here, Stays Here" tagline."The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has a long history of actively supporting equality through groundbreaking advertising and community initiatives," Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of advocacy group GLAAD, said at the time. "In becoming the first-ever destination to show their support in a national mainstream broadcast campaign, they have once again raised the bar for the travel industry." Additionally, the majority of the major casino operators are known as responsible corporations when it comes to inclusiveness. In 2014, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Wynn Resorts all garnered perfect scores on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, and were voted Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality."MGM in particular is really well known to be inclusive to employees and guests," Tanzella said. "I think that has a halo effect for general tourism. LGBT visitors are comfortable staying at MGM properties, and that affects tourism as a whole and conferences. When planners are choosing a location for a conference, and they know they have LGBT delegates attending, they want to make sure they are staying at a destination and property that will be accepting."And, while there is no glut of dedicated LGBT clubs on the Strip, the Las Vegas calendar of LGBT-targeted events continues to expand."I think they are authentic to what they have and are marketing the fun experience you'll have in Vegas," Tanzella said.Every summer Luxor hosts the city's longest running LGBT pool party, Temptation. The Sunday party just completed its seventh season and features DJs, unique drinks and special celebrations. Getting in on the Sunday fun, the Mirage turns its Revolution lounge into an LGBT-focused party with Revolt Sundays.Coming up this month is Las Vegas Pride from Oct. 21 to 23. Downtown Las Vegas will host the annual Pride Night Parade Oct. 22. This year, the Pride Festival is in a new location at Sunset Park, which offers more room for entertainment.Pride festivities will also coincide with the World Gay Rodeo, Oct. 20 to 22, at South Point Hotel's Arena and Equestrian Center. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, rodeo spectators can take in everything from bull riding to roping, barrel racing and steer decorating.In January, the Sin City Shootout, Las Vegas' largest LGBT sporting event, is scheduled to return for its 10th year and its fourth consecutive year hosted by the Tropicana. The competition is expecting 8,500 participants who will be participating in 25 sports, including wrestling, bodybuilding, tennis, ice hockey, ultimate Frisbee, bridge, volleyball, golf and dodgeball.An event that caters toward LGBT women, Dinah Shore Weekend, has become an annual fixture in Las Vegas in addition to its original event held in Palm Springs each year. The Dinah Vegas event is scheduled to return April 27 to 30.