It starts with a man and a woman approaching a Vegas hotel counter together, and then the woman runs off to the bathroom. When a sharply dressed man steps up, the attendant asks if the two men are checking in together.
They give each other the once-over in a moment that suggests “This is Vegas, so … maybe?”
“People love that ad,” said Jim McMichael, the diversity and cultural marketing manager of the tourism authority. “It allows people to understand no matter what your background, come to Vegas and have a great time.”
The TV spot, which airs on Bravo and gay-focused cable channel Logo, comes on the heels of a 2012 print ad campaign targeting LGBT travelers. It featured frumpy, middle-aged straight couples enjoying themselves amid a sea of chic gay and lesbian couples.
The tagline? “Everyone’s welcome. Even straight people.”
“With the downturn in the economy, we needed to make sure we were reaching to as many markets as possible,” McMichael explained.
Las Vegas isn’t the only gambling town looking to capture LGBT market share. Atlantic City has promoted itself aggressively in paid and social media as an ideal destination for same-sex weddings, honeymoons and bachelor or bachelorette parties.
Sin City stands as second most popular U.S. vacation destination for gay and bisexual men, behind New York City and tied with San Francisco and Chicago, according to a survey by Community Marketing Inc., a research and consulting firm that studies LGBT consumer habits.
Article continues belowLas Vegas ranks third among lesbian and bisexual women, behind New York City and San Francisco and tied with Chicago, according to CMI. The other cities at the top of the list are more established bastions of LGBT pride. Many boast “Gayborhoods,” such as San Francisco’s Castro District, that date back decades.
“Vegas kind of came out of nowhere in the LGBT market” about five to 10 years ago, according to John Tanzella, president and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, adding, “They’re creative, they’re cutting edge.”
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