Gay Tourists Abandon The Strip?

MGM and Harrahs have spent years marketing to gay consumers -- and both companies fear gay tourism to Vegas will plummet if Gov. Jim Gibbons makes good on his promise to veto the state's domestic-partner benefits bill.

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 20 2009 11:00 PM ET

In opposing the DP bill, Gibbons has also stated that he doesn't want to get involved in residents' personal lives , although he supported the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2002. To this, Jones says, "How does [the DP bill] get into people's private lives? It allows them to have a private life. If he really believes that than he should be an ardent supporter."

Jones knows LGBT tourists have funneled millions, if not billions, into Nevada's economy. "These are customers who we actively recruited, that we've spent millions on convincing them Las Vegas should be their city of choice for vacations... How can we say to them, 'We want your business, but we don't care about your rights?"

There's no organized boycott of Nevada as of yet, and the bill may pass through a legislative override of the veto. But if enough votes aren't found, gay tourists could take their money away from Las Vegas and Reno.

"Las Vegas is the number two gay destination in the country" after New York, Thomas Brock of Community Marketing Inc. told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . "It would be very dangerous for the state to send out a signal like that. If you don't want to take care of your own citizens, why should we support you?"

Tags: Politics

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