A Queer Guide To Las Vegas

A Brief History of Las Vegas and The Fruit Loop

Since the official incorporation of the city back in 1911, Las Vegas has undergone a number of changes to both its demography and landscape, but gambling has undoubtedly remained the one constant. The construction of what is now known as the Hoover Dam in 1931 brought a large number of blue collar workers to a site east of the city and as a result, showgirl venues and casinos were opened on Fremont Street to attract the project’s workers.

Fast forward just over fifty years and longtime casino developer Steve Wynn opened the Mirage in 1989, which was to be the first of many megaresorts spread throughout the famous Las Vegas strip. Over the next two decades or so, the older, more obsolete casinos were destroyed in favor of giant complexes which take aesthetic cues from Venice, Paris and Rome to become the Las Vegas that we all know and love today.

One of the reasons why we hold Vegas so dear to our hearts revolves around what we now know as the Fruit Loop, which is the ultimate gay epicenter of LGBTQ+ businesses and nightclubs on Naples street. Despite some controversy surrounding the adoption of the name in the 1970s among the gay community, the area close to UNLV has always been a happening hangout and home to a number of high profile clubs and restaurants. With new LGBTQ+ venues being added all the time, Las Vegas continues to push the boundaries of progression while providing some of the most fabulous entertainment in the world. It really is a win-win.

Casino Games You MUST Play While in Sin City

Let’s face it; if you’re visiting Vegas then chances are that you fancy yourself as a bit of a shark when it comes to the casino. Thankfully for you, the possibilities in Vegas are endless and you’re bound to find your game of choice at every casino up and down the strip. If you’re into the more standard games such as Caribbean stud poker or blackjack where you’re simply trying to outdo the dealer then you’re in luck, the casinos in Vegas are otherworldly and there’s no better place to put your chips on the table.

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No matter what casino game tickles your fancy,  playing online live games can help give you a good understanding of casino games before you hit The Strip. For the blackjack players out there, live blackjack online uses HD cameras to provide the user with a realistic blackjack experience. Live blackjack seeks to replicate the feeling of playing in an actual casino and being face to face with the dealer while you’re deciding whether or not to double down or split. Some games incorporate new side bets including perfect pairs and 21+3 in addition to doubling and splits.

In terms of brushing up on your poker skills before you hit the Vegas strip, live Caribbean stud poker will ready you for the high octane bricks and mortar casino environment. As most stud players will know, the game differs to Texas Hold’em in the sense that you’re playing against the house as opposed to other individuals. Consequently, live dealers greet you as you take your seat and continue to interact with all players throughout the whole of the session, giving players a good opportunity to hone their skills.

Roulette continues to be an absolute symbol of casinos, and also one of the most popular online casino games. You’ll want to keep in mind that there are different variants of roulette, including European, French and American roulette. Even if you like the idea of playing American roulette in America, it’s actually best to go for European or French, depending on what the casino you’re at offers. American roulette has two zeros, while European has one, which means that the odds are slightly better when playing the latter.

If slots are your thing, then you’re in luck because Vegas boasts some of the best playing slot games in the world. In order to make sure you’re ready to insert your coins into the lucrative machines on the North Strip, there are numerous themed online slot games available, such as Pirates Millions and The Big Lebowski which will ensure you’re as well prepared as possible for the bright lights of Sin City.

 

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Other Entertainment

If you feel like you’ve had more than enough of your gambling fix then fear not, there are plenty of other forms of queer and LGBTQ+ entertainment throughout the day and night which will keep you going. For those wanting a romantic and intimate dining experience, Sage at Aria has a whole host of artisanal American cuisine including a delightful Iberico pork loin and a strip steak with beef marrow which is perhaps the meatiest thing we’ve ever tasted. For the sushi lovers out there, Nobu Restaurant and Lounge offers revolving sushi wheels and black cod with miso from renowned chef Nobuyuki Matshuisha and if French cuisine is what you fancy, then the appropriately named Comme Ca has a trout amandine which will simply blow your mind. Of course, all of these delightful meals can be washed down with drinks of your choice (some would argue that’s the best bit!).

The vast amount of shows on offer in Vegas can make choosing the right one seems quite a daunting task. While we recognize that not everyone has the same tastes, you could do worse than catch Celine Dion in Caesar’s Palace in a show which blows her previous efforts straight out of the water. With a mixture of her own hits and covers (including a few fabulous renditions of popular Adele songs), the gasps are almost always audible throughout. Micheal Jackson lovers (which is everyone on the planet) will no doubt be aware of his ONE show at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino but until you’ve seen it for yourself then you haven’t lived. ONE continues to showcase Cirque Du Soleil at the top of its game and the special visual effects will make you feel like you’re in actually the presence of the King of Pop himself.

Some of the most famous shows and hotels in Vegas have even given rise to the birth of spin-off slot machines. The Rise of the Pharaohs online slot game for example perfectly echoes the Egyptian themes surrounding the Luxor Hotel and as soon as you enter the tomb inspired gaming lobby, you’re transported back to when Cleopatra and the Pharaohs ruled over the ancient land. The legendary rock band Kiss and played nine intimate nights at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Cafe back in 2014. While only seating around 4,000 or so spectators, the shows when down extremely well and as a result, Kiss now have their own themed online slot game which thankfully doesn’t have anything to do with Gene Simmons’ ‘legendary’ tongue. These spin-off slot games are the perfect amalgamation of the casino and live shows and there are numerous examples of Las Vegas cleverly bringing all its strengths together in neat little packages.

What Are You Waiting For?

While there are a number of cities around the world which are undoubtedly giving Las Vegas a run for its money, Sin City rightly remains the home of gambling in the large majority of people’s eyes. In 2017, there were more than 39 million visitors to Las Vegas and a survey conducted in the same year concluded that Vegas was the destination that U.S. travellers would most like to visit in 2018. With the Fruit Loop absolutely thriving and continuing to open new venues such as Club Unity, there’s literally never been a better time to visit the city as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In other words, get saving, get planning and get your ass out there. You won’t regret it. Oh, and pack some sunscreen.

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