From re-naming an official gay beach to three summertime LGBTI events, Atlantic City officials seem hungry for the pink dollar.
In a beachside resort known more for gambling than for its gay scene (most recently the town’s gay venue Pro Bar closed after three years), politicians are doing a big PR push to court LGBTI travelers.
After the legalization of same-sex marriage in October 2013, the LGBTI segment is just one of the niches Atlantic City officials are trying to reach out to in order to boost tourism, especially after the region suffered severe structural and financial damage from super storm Sandy in October 2012.
In March 2014 Caesars Atlantic City was offering one gay or lesbian couple $50,000 for their dream wedding, and since then 61-year-old Mayor Don Guardian and tourism officials have been beefing up Atlantic City’s gay-friendly image. By winning the 2013 mayoral election, Guardian became the city’s first openly gay mayor and first Republican mayor since 1990.
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