TRAVEL DIARY: Color our world

It may well be the most famous gay bash in the world, and it’s not too late to book a quick trip to Palm Springs for the White Party, which is this weekend and features Robyn, who was recently in Dallas. But if you can’t make it there, you can at least enjoy a bit of Palm Springs here at the same time. On Monday,  Palm Springs is once again hosting its Summer Splash Cocktail Challenge, looking for the best bartender in the country. The winner in Dallas goes on to the desert ogaysis on June 2 to match mixology skills with other finalists from around the country. I was a judge at last year’s event, pictured above, and will be back again — trust me, it’s a blast. It takes place at the Round-Up Saloon on April 11, starting at 8 p.m.

Texas has its own AIDS fundraisers, but with Shreveport-Bossier City such a close drive, and the Pink Party such a hoot, it’s definitely worth a weekend trip, The huge event, benefiting Easter Seals and the Philadelphia Center (Northwest Louisiana’s version of the Resource Center)  is the largest annual event organized by the area’s gay and lesbian community. It starts with dinner on Thursday, May 12 and a pre-party fete on May 13, but the main event — more than 1,200 strong — takes place Saturday, May 14 … and costs only $10. For more information, visit PinkParty.org.

The Royal Palms, a 62-room hotel in Fort Lauderdale that bills itself as North America’s largest luxury gay resort, reopens this month after a huge renovation. Rooms starts at $159. RoyalPalms.com.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Travel Diary

The biggest news in travel is the latest from Dallas-based Southwest Airlines. The airlines announced plans this week to acquire AirTran Holdings, which includes low-cost flyer AirTran Airways. What this means for travelers is added destinations, many originating from DFW. Although the merger won’t have immediate effects, once in place, Southwest wil increase its presence in New York and Boston and add service to the Caribbean and Mexico.

As if Palm Springs already doesn’t have enough attraction, they go and add more fabulosity. The new gay resort Escape Palm Springs is open in the former Chestnutz spot. Renovations are complete and deals are now available for this clothing optional resort. Visit EscapePalmSprings.com for more information.

Also, the 24th Annual Palm Springs Pride Festival and Parade is scheduled for Nov. 6–7. The festival will fill up the Palm Springs Baseball Stadium featuring a concert by Martha Davis and the Motels. Then it’s followed up by the jumbo-sized parade on Sunday. Visit VisitPalmSprings.com for details.

If you haven’t noticed, Expedia has added a charming bit for their LGBT travelers. When you use the site to search for hotels, you can now filter in “LGBT-welcoming” as an option. They have tagged hotels in popular destinations throughout the U.S. and internationally such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris.

The travel site has also began an LGBT travel page listing events from around the globe. Visit
Expedia.com/daily/gaytravel for details.

New York-based G Worldwide has launched the first gay luxury hotel and hospitality brand across the nation.The hotels will cater specifically to LGBT community and supporters.
With plans to launch in five locations over the next two years, they will focus first in New York, Florida, California and Las Vegas before going international. Visit GResorts.com for information.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 1, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas