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GayNights to light up Las Vegas strip, starting Thursday

LAS VEGAS -- If you’re in the mood for some indulgent nightlife, sopping wet pool parties, extravagant dining and exclusive shopping deals, then GayNights Las Vegas has you covered.

GayNights is a quasi-annual event started in 2007. When the economy in the city bottomed out the event went on a two-year hiatus, but now it’s back and better than ever.

This year has something for everyone. You can frolic in the Landshark Lagoon at Mandalay Bay during the Sexy Splash party hosted by GRINDR, with music by DJ J. Bray. If you miss that one, no worries, you can hit up the Q Splash pool party the next day, too.

“There will absolutely be local celebrities at the Saturday pool party at the Landshark Lagoon sponsored by Q Vegas Magazine, Curve Magazine and Sweet,” said Earl Shelton of Shelton & Smith LLC, which is co-marketing and promoting the event.

Every night starts out at the ABSOLUT Hot Spot inside of the Eyecandy Sound Lounge at Mandalay Bay. Then slowly but surely, happy hour rolls around and then the night is ready to get into full swing. The weekend has parties planned at ROK Vegas in New York-New York, JET nightclub in the Mirage, and the Beatles Revolution Lounge - also in the Mirage, as well as a plethora of other hot spots around the city.

There are performances and special cast appearances by Cirque du Soleil, including a "meet and greet" mixer on Saturday night with the cast from KÁ.

J. Son Dinant, a local Vegas celebrity and the naked boy from “Naked Boy News,” will be hosting the opening and closing days of GayNights. Thursday he gets things started at Mandalay Bay, starting with the Eyecandy Sound Lounge and winds everything down on Sunday at the Oasis pool at Luxor.

Sunday night is rounded out with a show from LGBT performer Cazwell at the Beatles Revolution Lounge, you might remember him from his über sexy “Ice Cream Truck” video, or from his recounting of a fictional meeting he had with Beyoncé at a fast food chain, “I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King.”

When in Rome, go shopping! Las Vegas has almost every designer worth their salt represented in trendy shops scattered throughout the Strip. A GayNights VIP pass will give you access to discounts in many of the shops at Crystals inside of the newest Vegas icon, CityCenter.

The weekend is your oyster and you may feel overwhelmed by the endless possibilities that the city has to offer, but don’t fret, GayNights has you covered. They’re partnering up with Thanks Babs, The Day Tripper, whose forté is matching up visitors to Las Vegas with fun, day-long adventures specifically tailored to each individual's wants and needs.

"It’s like having a lesbian aunt in Vegas,” Babs Daitch said, joking about her ability to customize tours in the city. "I try to find out what you want and be very upfront with everyone. I don’t work for one vendor or person, so I don’t have to push preferred tours. I just find out what people really want and what’s realistic.”

MGM Resorts International is presenting the event this year and if you can make it to the desert this weekend, they have a bevy of bargains for you to swaddle yourself in. With your reservation at an MGM Grand Resort, you’ll receive VIP passes for everyone in your entourage, so all you have to do is book your room and you’re already invited to the fun.

For more information or to book a room, go HERE.