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

Dallas, Round-Up Saloon, American, Southwest among finalists for TripOut Gay Travel Awards

Voting for the second annual TripOut Gay Travel Awards is under way, and it looks like Dallas is well represented among the nominees, which reportedly are selected by “20 of the hardest-working, busiest travel journalists covering the LGBT planet.”

Big D is among six finalists worldwide for “Best Breakout Destination,” which is described as a place that’s either “off the beaten path” or “making unexpected strides.”

“It’s not just the home of oil barons and cowboys, Dallas is also one of the proudest gay cities around,” according to TripOut Gay Travel.

The other finalists in the Breakout Destination category are Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Reykjavik and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, in the “Best Gay Bar” category, our own Round-Up Saloon is among six finalists worldwide:

“Instinct Magazine crowned it the ‘Best Galdanged Gay Bar in the U.S. of A.’ and it’s hard to argue with the fun and full-on cowboy action that the Round-Up serves up nightly. For 30 years, this place has been delivering Dallas with a really big ‘D’ — complete with two-stepping, a tequila bar, friendly staffers and more ten-gallon hats than you can possibly rest on your bedpost. Even Lady Gaga loves it! An American classic.”

The other finalists for Best Gay Bar are the Abbey in West Hollywood, Club Manana in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Roscoe’s in Chicago, Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London and the Week in Rio/Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Also, Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines are two of the six finalists for, well, “Best Airline.”

Cast your vote in all the categories by going here.

—  John Wright

Public lewdness charge dropped against ex-WFAA anchor Brad Hawkins

A public lewdness charge against former WFAA anchor Brad Hawkins has been rejected by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, according to Hawkins’ attorney, Peter Schulte.

Hawkins, now a spokesman for Southwest Airlines, was arrested in April following an incident at Flag Pole Hill Park near White Rock Lake.

Schulte told Dallas Voice the DA’s office has elected not to prosecute Hawkins.

“He didn’t commit a crime,” Schulte said, calling it a “false arrest.”

“That conduct as alleged by the police department does not constitute a crime,” Schulte added.

—  John Wright

Southwest loves to f*** your bags

Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas, and that’s all the excuse I need to post this. Warning: NSFW.

—  John Wright

Pam Ann at the Majestic Theatre last night

Pam Ann was one surprise of a show. YouTube vids of her live show don’t do her much justice because while funny, they play a little blandly. In person, she’s an entirely different animal. And a funny one too.

The show was introduced with a video, above, of her safety demonstration which got the mostly gay male crowd whipped up into a laughing frenzy. Two dancers came out soon followed by Pam Ann and the audience exploded. It was a surprise mostly because her people had mentioned before  they weren’t sure how she would do here. Her manager later told me it was a nice feeling to see an audience be so reactive. But rowdy was more like it.

—  Rich Lopez