Guides to show journalists “‘hot cowboys, cowgirls’; Mayor Miller, Sheriff Valdez plan to address group
When the 2006 Dallas Press Tour for the GLBT media kicks off April 5, the coordinators plan to show the writers the city has more to offer than just sexy men and women.
“If they have a mental picture of hot cowboys and cowgirls being here in Dallas, we don’t want to disappoint them,” said Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild. “When they’re here we intend to show them there’s a lot more to Dallas than just that facet.”
In addition to visits to popular Oak Lawn night spots, the press tour will include a Turtle Creek Chorale concert, breakfast with Sheriff Lupe Valdez, lunch with Mayor Laura Miller, trips to museums, visits to basketball and baseball games, overnight stays in fine hotels and dinners in elegant restaurants.
This year, journalists from eight publications will take part in the press tour. Three of the participating publishing companies Planet Out/LPI Media, Instinct Magazine and Hyperion Interactive Media participated last year. Four new ones Frontiers Magazine, My Gay World Magazine, In Los Angeles Magazine, Gay Guide Toronto will take part this year, and the press tour also includes a free lance writer who writes for Window Media publications in Washington, D.C., South Florida, Atlanta, Houston and New York City.
“We’re pretty excited,” Doughman said. “Last year, we did our base work to acquaint them with the Oak Lawn neighborhood.”
Doughman said for a city to become a top GLBT travel destination it must have an established gay entertainment and retail area like Oak Lawn.
“Initially in marketing to the GLBT traveler, the first thing they look for is a cohesive and organized gayborhood,” Doughman said. “We wanted to focus on that last year.”
Doughman said the city’s first GLBT press tour last year was a success that is paying off in increased interest in Dallas. The visit resulted in several articles being published about Dallas as a gay travel destination.
“It was hugely successful,” Doughman said. “We’re still getting press from it.”
Earlier this year the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a GLBT travel website touting Dallas that has also added to the interest in the city, Doughman said. The press tour this year should be an even greater success, he said.
“We think it is going to be huge again for the community,” Doughman said. “The important thing is once the ball gets rolling to keep it rolling. The more talk, the more curiosity is going to arouse about Dallas.”
Doughman said he has no doubts about the coordinators being able to show the journalists a good time in Dallas while they are here.
The journalists are Alexander Cho, editor of Frontiers Magazine; Aefa Mulholland, writer for The Advocate, OUT Magazine and Out Traveler; Fabrice Tasendo, co-publisher of Gay Web Monkey; Jill L. Pentrack, publisher of My Gay World Magazine; Robbie Daw, managing editor of Instinct Magazine; Dan Allen, writer for In Los Angeles Magazine; Troy Petenbrink, writer for the Washington Blade, Houston Voice and Southern Voice and Shaun Proulx, editor of Gay Guide Toronto.
National GLBT Press Tour sponsors are: Round-Up Saloon, American Airlines, Dallas Voice, Ben E. Keith Beers, Caven Enterprises, Dallas Tavern Guild, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Master Realtors, SRJ Marketing & Communications, The Melrose Hotel, Hilton Anatole Dallas Hotel and the North Texas GBLT Chamber of Commerce.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 24, 2006.