Fort Lauderdale readies itself for week of Gay Days

Fort Lauderdale, which has made marketing to the LGBT community a top priority for nearly two decades, is gearing up for what officials expect will be its crowning achievement: its inaugural Gay Days Fort Lauderdale, which runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1.

The weeklong event will feature daily pool parties hosted by marquee DJs, including ChiChi LaRue, Ryan Tiffin, and Citizen Jane, as well as a Gay Days Expo, which will bring together dozens of gay and lesbian travel, entertainment and other groups to promote their businesses.

Gay Days Fort Lauderdale will also feature a silent auction to raise proceeds to benefit local LGBT nonprofits, including the Pride Center, SunServe and Poverello.

Other citywide events are planned, according to organizers.

The host hotel will be the W Fort Lauderdale, providing a base that is expected to attract more upscale tourists, said Richard Gray, LGBT managing director of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Gray expects 15,000 people for the first-year event, generating an economic impact of $18 million.

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