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Chicago Wants Gay Tourist Money

By Aaron Bailey in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 4, 2005 12:23PM

nhalsted.jpgIllinois wants it some gay money. Hoping to show the world that Chicago is gay friendly and to grab a slice of the $54 billion gays and lesbians spend on travel yearly, the Illinois Bureau of Tourism will step up efforts to target gay and lesbian travelers.

gay-games-chicago.gifThe state has allocated $350,000 for such efforts, in preparation for July, 2006, when the Gay Games come to Chicago. The Games are expected to draw 12,000 visitors and generate $25 million in spending.

In the past few years, cities like Philadelphia, New Orleans, Minneapolis and Montreal have launched similar efforts.

Chicagoist thinks our fair city is a natural gay mecca -- sandy beaches, great nightlife, trendy restaurants, and a large gay population -- so we're excited to see Chicago marketed specifically to the gays.