Prohibition opened with a bash May 13, becoming the first Atlantic City casino to have a dance club for for GBLT crowd. See photo gallery from the club.
ATLANTIC CITY — I went to a gay nightclub last weekend. Then I went to a drag show. And I’m not even gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
You may recognize that line from “The Outing,” a 1993 episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. The comment from Jerry Seinfeld to a college newspaper reporter has apparently been adopted as the operating mantra at Resorts Casino Hotel, which recently opened Atlantic City’s first gay casino nightclub.
Dennis Gomes, president and CEO of the First Game In Town, was looking to expand the market when he purchased Resorts in December. While competing properties have staged spot events targeting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender demographic, Gomes wanted to take the marketing effort to the next level.
“I didn’t want to just say [to the GLBT community] that when we need business midweek, you can come in that day,” Gomes explained near midnight last Friday as he stood near the entrance to the club, called Prohibition, and watched it fill up.
“I didn’t want to insult them by saying you’re only welcome when nobody else is here,” he added. “I wanted to say you’re welcome here all the time.”
Several months before the club opened, Gomes, 66, who’s long had a reputation for innovative casino marketing, signaled his intentions of thinking outside the box — and the closet, too.
He hired Joel Ballesteros as the local gaming industry’s first director of GLBT marketing. Ballesteros, 41, made his mark in the area by successfully staging events to attract GLBT guests to the Ram’s Head Inn in nearby Absecon. Gomes was betting the California native could work the same magic at Resorts.
“I told [Gomes] the first thing we needed to do to capture the [gay] traveler was establish a full-time venue, not one night here and one night there,” Ballesteros said earlier the same evening. “And that’s what we’ve done. We’ve made [Prohibition] a place where everyone could come and have fun.”
The nightclub is actually part of two-phase effort to establish the 13th floor of Resorts as an epicenter of GLBT nightlife in Atlantic City. At the opposite end of the hall from Prohibition, in the 320-seat Screening Room theater, Resorts recently debuted a female impersonator show titled Believe: Divas In a Man’s World. The moment the show opened, a symbiotic relationship developed between the nightclub and the revue.
“We’re already seeing people come to the bar to have a drink, then seeing the show and coming back to the bar afterwards,” Ballesteros said. “I really feel that’s the key to success for both the bar and the show.”
Compared to other casino nightclubs, Prohibition — which is open Thursdays through Sundays — is a smaller and more intimate venue.
Part of the plan calls for the entire renovation to be a reality TV show from creative process to the grand opening, streaming live over the Internet from Atlantic City. Once open, we broadcast live entertainment, showcasing our creative genius and youth.
Recently making mainstream media: Chick-Fil-A has spent millions of company dollars campaigning against gay marriage. Their CEO and founder’s son Dan Cathy has publicly proclaimed gay marriage wrong. Now, Social media is forcing the story to the forefront ...
“Even now, I get picked on with stupid things. My aunt wants to send me to a camp where they ‘pray the gay away.’ “
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.
And, thank God we joined you as one, and not apart. Think of how dull this world would be without our creative energy. It would be the light bulb hanging on a wire from the ceiling, without the decorative fixture — or the lamp without the lamp shade.
“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.
“I don’t like queers, period.” That’s how my neighbor, 60ish, greeted me one day. It was one of the nicest things he ever said to me.
ATLANTIC CITY — Caesars Entertainment has again assembled a weekend full of fun events focused on Atlantic City’s gay community. It starts Friday night, Sept. 23, with a four-course dinner party at House of Blues’ Foundation Room featuring the Hearty Boys — a gay couple who host a cooking show on the Food Network — and several other segments served up in a festive atmosphere and hosted by famed Las Vegas drag queen Frank Marino. This is the third annual OUT In AC event put on by Caesars Entertainment (an organization that regularly receives high commendation from the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index), and one of many GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) events to materialize on the Atlantic...
Matchless documentarian Ken Burns captures this volatile, surreal scene in his new miniseries Prohibition, which premieres Oct. 2, 3 and 4 at 8pm on PBS. The three-part, five-and-a-half-hour film explores both the forces that produced the U.S. Constitution’s 18th Amendment and ...
John Schultz is quick to point out that the Brass Rail, a 12-seat bar sited off a one-way side street in midtown Atlantic City, was not the catalyst to what was once a thriving social scene for the area’s gay community. That existed long before he purchased the bar in 1971, he says.
ATLANTIC CITY — Paint the town rainbow — the gay community is flocking full force back to the city that’s always turned on! Recently Atlantic City's first in-casino gay bar, Prohibition nightclub at Resorts, opened its doors to tremendous hoopla, and with that club’s success came the emergence of another GLBT-themed establishment — one that had been a pioneer during the first giant wave of gay clubs that helped spawn a thriving GLBT community in the seaside resort during the 1970s and 1980s. Can lightning strike twice? The Brass Rail — once part of the Club Tru complex created by John Schultz and partner Gary Hill — will have its formal grand re-opening in a weekend-long affair starting Friday, July 29, with an invite-only party from 7-9pm Friday. After 9pm the club opens to the public, and the fun doesn’t end until Monday, Aug. 1, at 6am. Presented by Stoli vodka, the gala will include an appearance by Claudia DuMont, who will be accompanied by the New York City Strippers, starting midnight Friday. On Saturday at midnight “Faresa” performs, and on Sunday from 9pm-1am guests will be treated to the outlandish antics of Lady La Belle — one of the popular contestants from the recently resurfaced...
This year’s theme was Boardwalk Empire and as the HBO series’ opening credits — bootlegged by Pernod-Ricard, to feature their bottles of Beefeater and Jameson washing up against Nucky Thompson’s wingtip spectators — flashed upon the stage of the Mahalia Jackson Theater, nominees and presenters in wide ties and suspenders, and tattoo-baring flapper dresses filed inside.
Resorts has provided AC Weekly with terrific time-lapse video showing the raising of the new Resorts Event Pavilion, where the circuses will be performed through Sept. 11, 2011.
Now, due in large measure to the establishment of the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance in 2009, and the foresight and ambitious marketing strategies of Resorts CEO Dennis Gomes (who recently created the first in-casino gay nightclub, Prohibition) and others, the GLBT community is officially back in “flow” mode.
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ATLANTIC CITY — The transformation of Resorts to a '20s theme, sparked by international interest in the Atlantic City depicted in HBO's hit series Boardwalk Empire, continues to evolve. And the results have been very impressive. First the first gay club within an Atlantic City casino opened — Prohibition — which is doing very well and packing in both straights and gays to the high energy dance club. Then Boogie Nights developer Dave Pena, a former writer for Atlantic City Weekly, and owner of Planet Rose at the Tropicana Quarter, opened Torch — Atlantic City's first whiskey bar, serving high-end whiskey in a gorgeous space with dark wood, comfy seating and a trend-setting bar. One of the special things about Torch is that it also has a piano and will feature live music Friday and Saturday nights — and on Thursdays later this summer. Not the standard casino lounge acts either; we're talking singer-songwriters from all around the country. It's one of a few places in the entire region where professional singer-songwriters will be encouraged to play their own songs; hats off to Resorts! On a gorgeous Friday afternoon on the Boardwalk, Resorts owner Dennis Gomes, his family, including son Aaron,were present, along with the...
So last week, there was Hitchen, head to toe decked out as “Knockers Johnson,” filming the opening skit for this year’s pageant on the beach. Other characters were Lucy Luckyano and Ally Capone, possibly the first time some of America’s most famous gangsters ....
The show was created in the early 1990s by former Atlantic City Councilman John Schultz and his partner, Gary Hill, and held at their old Studio Six nightclub, once considered the epicenter for gay life in Atlantic City.
This GLBT population consistently frequents areas/genres that cater to multiple orientations. They are not limited to the old definition, but are more so driven to openly enjoy themselves in environments that are mutually sensitive — and not offensive.
Funny thing is, it’s the casinos and land speculators who first closed and knocked down gay businesses that thrived for 100 years in Atlantic City. Now, money’s tight, and they’re sorry they did.
The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, the organization will launch a new Web site on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Sometimes, recessions can present unexpected opportunities. For members of the Atlantic City region's gay and lesbian community, what might be called a civil rights struggle, an attempt to form a real community or even just an effort to create some kind of gay social life in the area, also has one other good thing going for it.
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.
Female impersonators are nothing new in the Atlantic City landscape. Bally’s hosted An Evening at La Cage for 11 years and the town has hosted the Miss’d America Pageant, a spoof of the Miss America Pageant featuring cross-dressing gentlemen. However, the town has never hosted a show as enticing and hilarious as 'Believe - Divas In A Man’s World.'
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