WATCH: GayTravel.com on Dallas

A few weeks back Arnold Wayne Jones told you about Nick Vivion (above), GayTravel.com’s new “Travel Guru” whose six-month tour began in Dallas. Well, here we have some of the results, as GayTravel.com has posted a series of Vivion’s videos from Big D on YouTube. Let us know what you think.

—  John Wright

GayTravel.com Guru hits Dallas

Nick Vivion
Nick Vivion

Nick Vivion, who recently won the online contest to be the new GayTravel.com travel guru, brings his tour to Dallas this weekend. Look for him around town — calling numbers at Gay Bingo Saturday, attending Uptown Players’ Closer to Heaven Sunday — and tell him everything that makes Big D a great travel destination.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

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

GayTravel.com picks guru to ‘sleep around’

A few months ago we reported that a local man was in the running for the GayTravel.com guru position, getting to earn $30k for spending half-a-year sleeping around.

He didn’t make it.

Instead, this guy did: Nick Vivion of Seattle. What’s cool is, he kicks off the world tour in October … right here in Dallas.

Vivion is nerdy-cute, and we’re all about that, but we gotta say: Since it was a position voted by readers online, we’re a bit surprised Chad Bush, another finalist who has traditional hunk-tastic cred (pictured below), didn’t sway more voters. But good for Nick!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Aspiring queer journalist Daniel Villarreal of Dallas vies to become America’s next Gay Travel Guru

Aspiring Dallas homo-journo Daniel Villarreal is competing for his dream job as GayTravel.com‘s Gay Travel Guru, and he needs your help by July 30. We’re going to overlook the fact that Villarreal writes for Queerty.com and focus on the fact that he’s a native Texan with a lot of experience who probably deserves this opportunity. Villarreal is among 60 contestants who’ve advanced to Round 2 of the competition, and the field will be narrowed to eight next month based on this public vote. It looks like Villarreal is currently at No. 3 with 755 points, so he’s definitely viable. Above is a video about Grapevine Bar that Villarreal produced for the competition (you can watch one about Lower Greenville by going here), and below is the flier he’s been circulating in the gayborhood, which includes instructions for voting. Here’s the note Villarreal sent us on Monday:

My name is Daniel Villarreal and I’m an aspiring queer journalist and regular contributor to the LGBT blog Queerty.com. I’d like you to vote for me so I can become GayTravel.com’s travel reporter. Your support would go a long way towards helping me highlight the diversity of national LGBT culture and assisting in my continued aims of being a serious queer journalist.

A) I’m mega-qualified: I have 17 years experience in print journalism, an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, a handful of web-based comedy sketches, a vast growing social network, a love of people, and extensive travel experience around the US, Japan, India, and Europe. All of these enable me to deliver travel coverage that’s fun, insightful, and entertaining.

B) I’ll represent everyone: In my work with Queerty.com, I have always tried to give a voice to under-represented parts of the LGBT community including local activists, artists, women, trans folk, people of color, the elderly, the poor, and HIV-positive people. As a travel writer, I would give coverage not only to popular LGBT destinations but to worthwhile local venues and events welcoming of our entire community.

C) I’m a good long-term investment: This vote isn’t just about the travel job. Working with GayTravel.com would also provide me the exposure and training I need to continue developing into an asset to the national LGBT community as a serious queer reporter.

—  John Wright