A.C. Goes Gay

Resorts opens the first gay nightclub within a casino hotel

Courtesy of Resorts

The rainbow flag went up at Resorts last week in celebration of Prohibition, the first gay nightclub to ever open within a casino in Atlantic City. And what a concept for this Jersey Shore getaway. Situated on the 13th Floor of the ocean-front casino, Prohibition enjoyed a soft opening last week as it gears up for an official launch party in time for Memorial Day weekend.

“Resorts is the first casino to make a full-time commitment to the LGBT community,” says Joel Ballesteros, Resorts’ director of marketing for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. “As the first full-time casino gay nightclub, Prohibition offers the LGBT community something that they have not been able to enjoy in a very long time in A.C., and we are excited to be the ones that can set this trend.”

The new Resorts enjoys a Roaring 20s theme inspired by the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” which is also showcased in this new gay club where ceiling-high palm trees, giant TVs and floor-to-ceiling windows with views overlooking the Boardwalk and ocean dominate the space.

The bartenders have also created a signature drink that will be served from mason jars as a regular lineup of DJs and dancers entertain crowds well into the early morning hours. Philly folks may also recognize Mark Dahl of Traverse Arts Project as manager of LGBT nightlife.

The gay club joins a health club, indoor/outdoor pool, salon and seven different eateries within the casino hotel complex. And throughout this summer Philly’s own Cher impersonator Steven Andrade will star in “Believe: Divas in a Man’s World,” featuring some of the most popular celebrity impersonators in the world doing their best Liza, Bette and Gaga.

“Resorts wanted to take a fresh look at Atlantic City and see what we could bring to the city that no one else has, and this was on the top of the list,” explains Ballesteros. He says it was an alternative to simply having a gay night: “Resorts wants to be the go-to place for all people, and part of that is including amenities that appeal to various markets and making everyone feel welcome.”

Up until now, Westside Bar & Lounge has been the only gay bar in A.C., but it’s not associated with any of the major casinos. Several years ago the well-known Studio Six – a longtime gay bar – also closed its doors, leaving a noticeable void in the LGBT nightlife scene.

That may explain why gay and lesbian travelers have, up until now, made a showing at other venues like the Chelsea and Borgata, which has featured many LGBT-friendly events both in the concert venue and outdoor pool plaza. Add that to its proximity to both New York and Philly, as well as the gaming, beaches, boardwalk, dining and shopping, and A.C. could fast become a popular gay destination not unlike Delaware’s Rehoboth.

“We think this trend will continue into other venues, providing full-time, fun places for the LGBT community to enjoy world-class nightlife,” says Ballesteros. “Prohibition and raising the rainbow flag is just our first gesture to welcome the gay tourism market to A.C. and we expect it to be a driving force for LGBT travelers who want their getaways to be filled with great nightlife and great experiences.”