Gay Days Orlando will celebrate is 25th anniversary in 2015. But, in a pre celebration move, it is expanding its reach with the launch of Gay Days Fort Lauderdale, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1.
The expansion is part of a strategic move by Fort Lauderdale to increase LGBT tourism. “Our goal is to bring more key LGBT events to our warm, welcoming and diverse destination,” said Richard Gray, managing director, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau in a news release.
According to research by Community Marketing, Fort Lauderdale ranks as one of the top 10 destinations in the U.S. for LGBT travelers. The city’s tourism officials are estimating 15,000 participates at the new event and expect up to $18 million dollars will flow into the local economy as a result.
Similar to the Orlando event, Gay Days Fort Lauderdale will consist of a series of pool parties with top DJs, such as Chi Chi LaRue, Edil Hernandez, and Citizen Jane. Two pool parties will be held each day beginning on Nov. 27 at the W Fort Lauderdale, which is also serving as the official host hotel. The morning pool parties will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the afternoon pool parties will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants who reserve their room at the W as part of Gay Days Fort Lauderdale will be able to attend the pool parties for free, while those who stay at other properties will be charged a small admission fee per party, or can purchase a four-day pass for $25.
In addition to the pool parties, Gay Days Fort Lauderdale will host a free Expo with various travel, entertainment and business vendors targeting the LGBT community. Attendees are also welcome to attend the Hurricane Showdown, an LGBT softball tournament being held Nov. 27 to 30 in Fort Lauderdale.
In the evenings, attendees will be free to partake in Fort Lauderdale’s thriving LGBT nightlife. Many of the bars and clubs will be hosting special events throughout the weekend.
More information on visiting Fort Lauderdale is available at sunny.org/lgbt.
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Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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