The Boom Boom Room may be history, along with the Little Shrimp and Woody's, but Laguna Beach is not giving up on attracting and serving gay and lesbian visitors.
The Gay and Lesbian Travel Industry Directory 2011 has a two-page spread devoted to the city, extolling its beautiful beaches, secluded coves, absolutely fabulous restaurants, artists enclaves and hip nightspots.
The Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau placed the full-page ad and provided materials for an "editorial" page, a promotion that cost the bureau $3,000, according to Executive Director Judy Bijlani.
Laguna Beach is listed in the 123-page directory along with quite a few other "gay-friendly" cities that might not spring immediately to mind:
Others are on the "gaydar" of just about every gay or lesbian single or couple:
The directory is full of tasteful photos of same-sex couples holding hands, toasting each other, enjoying spectacular scenery together and just having fun. The undertone — or overtone — of
Here's how Los Angeles is marketing itself to this niche: "LA is SO Gay." La dee da. And I love this bit: "They call us the City of Angels. But don't let that fool you."
Maybe you can be a little naughty here, the ad implies. As for the original "Sin City," Las Vegas, its advertising seems a bit muted compared to the "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" wink-wink promotions for the general audience that you see everywhere.
Most surprising to me was how the Midwest and Far West is throwing out a lure to the gay and lesbian traveler. Who would think that Mormon-run
Then there's New Orleans, touting its charms as only it can.
"Why there are no closets to come out of in New Orleans," the promotion begins. "They say homes in Old
OK, now circling over the Midwest: pick your city and land in a sweet spot. Will it be Bloomington, Ind. ("the fourth gayest city in America"); Davenport,
My favorite city of all (aside from Laguna, of course) has to be my old home town of Akron,
"Our offerings are as diverse as the individuals we welcome," the campaign spiel goes. And here's a good reason to visit Akron in a few years' time: the city will host the Gay Games in August 2014. Who knew?
Perhaps the best slogan comes from the
Thumbing through these pages can make you feel a little overwhelmed. So many cities, so little time. Where to start? Why, right here at home, of course, in gay-friendly Laguna.
To find out more about the directory, visit the publisher, Community Market Inc., at http://www.communitymarketinginc.com.