Last year, Girl Bar moved Girl Bar Dinah Shore Weekend to Las Vegas for the first time, and co-producer Sandy Sachs says she had no idea what to expect. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t even know if anyone’s gonna show up,” Sachs told SheWired, adding in true Vegas fashion, “It was a crap shoot.”
Much to her surprise, the event drew in 1,700 women, which Sachs said she “couldn’t have even hoped for.” The event enters its second year this coming weekend, from April 25-28, and Sachs says she expects even more women to make that trip out to the desert this year.
Originally held in Palm Springs, which is still the location of Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, Sachs felt her event needed a change. “Twenty-two years is a long time to do anything,” she says. “What’s great about Vegas is no matter how many times you go, there’s always something new and different to do.” She highlights the size and popularity of Vegas as a major distinguishing factor between her event and the one held in Palm Springs. “The experience is definitely different. We’re never going to fill an entire hotel like the Flamingo,” she explains. “You’re not gonna get the experience that you get in Palm Springs where you wake up and everywhere you look it’s just lesbians around all the time.” While she recognizes this as a unique pro to holding Dinah in a city like Palm Springs, she feels that the outside distractions actually create a unity among the Dinah attendees. “What’s happening in Vegas is that because you’re not surrounded by lesbians 24/7, and there are no house parties, our parties are packed because that’s the only place they’re going to get the all women thing.”
Dinah Vegas’ presenting sponsor is Caesars Entertainment, which received an unprecedented sixth consecutive perfect Corporate Equality Index Rating from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation last year. Sachs believes their generosity in hosting Saturday’s Infinity Pool Party at the Flamingo is a direct reflection of their commitment to the LGBT community. “A three-thousand room hotel gave us their main pool for this event. It’s really mind-boggling. No hotel would do that in Vegas.”
As Dinah Shore Vegas enters its sophomore year, it’s too soon to say what the demographic of the event will be, but Sachs has witnessed its popularity partially among international travelers. She recalls talking to a German woman one year in Palm Springs who lamented about the bar closing time, saying, “It’s too far for me to go to have a drink pulled out of my hand at 1:30.” Incidentally, one of the drawing points of Dinah Vegas, in her opinion, is the fact that Las Vegas has no last call. “Last year, we ended the party at 4am, and we could have kept going,” she says.
With the world visibly becoming more accepting and understanding of the LGBT community, Sachs believes another advantage to hosting Dinah Shore in a city like Las Vegas “is really more apropos, considering what’s happening in the world today.” Unlike a decade or two ago, when gays and lesbians were more prone to stay in their own circles and locales, Sachs believes there is an obvious integration-taking place, which is reflected through Dinah Vegas.
That said, it’s Vegas, baby, and Girl Bar Dinah Shore will no doubt resonate the energy that only Sin City can manifest. Sachs waxed poetic on the luxurious Flamingo pool and the over-the-top spirit that makes Las Vegas truly unique. To put it simply, she says, “It’s a crazy place.”