• Joey Amato

IPW Takes over Las Vegas


Last weekend, hundreds of travel professionals from around the world descended on Las Vegas for IPW, a convention organized by the U.S. Travel Association. It has been at least 5 years since the last time I visited Las Vegas and every time I visit, there seems to be something new. In this case, I got a glimpse of the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders or as locals refer to it…Darth Vader (since the stadium is black).


My home for the next few nights was Resorts World, a new $4 Billion complex containing Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords hotels in addition to the casino and shopping area. Resorts World will be home to numerous superstar concert residencies opening later this year including Katy Perry, Luke Brian and Celine Dion.


Luckily for me, two signature events of IPW were being held at Resorts World, the media marketplace which I was a part of, as well as the Opening Reception, which took place at Zouk Nightclub and Ayu Dayclub. Coincidentally, one of the partners in the mega complex used to own a club in Nashville, Tennessee where I held my magazine launch party almost a decade ago.


I have never seen an establishment quite like Zouk. The sound and lighting is probably the best I’ve ever experienced and the visuals are simply mind blowing. Even if you aren’t staying at Resorts World, you need to venture to Zouk just to see this space. It's well worth the visit.


Prior to the convention, media were given the chance to jump on a tour of different attractions and experiences in Las Vegas. Being a foodie, I chose the Caesars Palace restaurant tour, where we got to sample food from some of the hotel’s celebrity chef driven restaurants including Restaurant Guy Savoy, Bobby Flay’s new restaurant Amalfi and Vanderpump Cocktail Garden, a beautiful concept from Lisa Vanderpump of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules fame. If you have ever watched either show, you can clearly see that this bar is so Lisa. It’s elegant but casual and the cocktails are divine.


We also had the opportunity to see Cirque du Soleil’s longest running Las Vegas show, Mystère. I’ve seen many Cirque shows over the years however, this was my first time seeing Mystère and it turned out to be one of my favorite. The staging and acrobatics were so revolutionary, it’s easy to see why this show is still going strong after almost 30 years.


The best part of attending IPW however was a chance to reconnect with some of my journalist friends from around the globe, some of which I hadn’t seen in over 2 years. I can’t wait for next year’s convention in Orlando!


To book your next Las Vegas gaycation, visit www.Orbitz.com/Pride