Resorts’ Pro Bar and ‘Divas in a Man’s World’ revue recently celebrated their one-year anniversary, and now the Piano Bar’s in the mix.
The entrepreneurial drive and outside-the-box disposition that Resorts’ late CEO Dennis Gomes was so well known for manifested itself in the Pro Bar — the first in-casino gay nightclub in Atlantic City’s history that opened a year ago in tandem with the celebrity- and female-impersonation revue show Believe: Divas in a Man’s World.
The latter was scheduled for a 12-week run with hopes for a warm reception. Where the Pro Bar applied, neither Gomes, Resorts director of LGBT marketing Joel Ballesteros or manager of LGBT nightlife Mark Dahl knew what to expect, or how it would be received by the public.
In each case the public kickback was exceedingly positive. The Divas’ initial run was extended indefinitely and the Pro Bar has complemented it well, making for a cool after-show hangout that welcomes anyone, be you part of the LGBT community or not.
“We started off incredibly well and just continued to grow our numbers, and here we are going into our second summer and I think things are just going to continue to get better and better,” says Ballesteros. “I fully expected to see a drop in numbers in the winter season and we didn’t have that at all.”
“In the beginning we didn’t really know what to expect,” adds Dahl. “We knew it was a great idea, but we were just blown away by how well it was received, and it’s continually impressed us ever since.”
Gomes’ vision when he took over as Resorts president and CEO was to expand boundaries and make the property more appealing to a wider demographic. One area he recognized as underappreciated was the LGBT community, and while the Pro Bar is technically an LGBT nightclub, its appeal has not been limited to that sector of society.
“That’s one of the things I love about the club — even though it’s predominantly a gay bar there’s a little bit of several different types who go there, and everyone feels at home,” says Ballesteros. “We never wanted to exclude anyone, which has been the vision of Resorts overall. We’re trying to include everyone in everything we do, so this was just another way that we could do that.
“Old, young, gay, straight, black, white — it’s a good cross section of everybody,” says Dahl. “It may be branded a LBGT club, but it brings everyone together in a celebratory atmosphere. It’s pretty amazing.”
The First Bartender Awards ceremony, presented by AC Weekly and hosted by the Diving Horse in Atlantic City, honored the best of the region’s bartenders The First Bartender Awards ceremony, presented by AC Weekly and hosted by the Diving Horse in Atlantic City, honored the best of the region’s bartenders as voted by AC Weekly readers on Thursday, May 17.as voted by AC Weekly readers on Thursday, May 17.
We can easily become the gay honeymoon capital of the world if we act positively and quickly. And, if that happens, there will be a lot more things to do, and a lot more creativity centered in the town.
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“I’m very much looking forward to visiting Atlantic City,” says de Medici, who will also be in attendance during Saturday night’s post party at the Pro Bar at Resorts.
Entertainment will become a real drag at Resorts Atlantic City beginning May 5. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s when the born-again First Game in Town will debut the gender-bender production show 'Believe: Divas In A Man’s World' for an extended run.
When Steve Andrade created his female impersonator show Believe. Divas in a Man’s World for Resorts, he hoped that it would be popular enough to be extended beyond the initial contract. He really did “believe.” The show just celebrated its one year anniversary at Resorts with no reason to think it is leaving any time soon.
Realtors preach the virtues of location as the top selling point for prospective buyers, and the same quality could cross over to business success. Place a business in a desirable location and you’ll get patrons, but keeping them coming back means offering a quality product and fresh incentives.
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