There has been lots of debate about the ever increasingly visibility given to Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender rights. As LGBT culture continues to blend into the mainstream, it is only natural for traditional safe-haven establishments like hotels, restaurants, and community centers to open their doors to “straight” folks.
New York City will be site of the America’s first “straight friendly” hotel called THE OUT NYC, a streamlined, three-story Travel Lodge renovation in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, between 10th and 11th streets.
Simpson Reisner, a managing partner of Parkview Developers, which owns THE OUT NYC, enthusiastically told MSN that he envisioned creating a “relaxing home base resort-style retreat where guests can stay, eat and play.”
The creator of this 105-room boutique hotel explained that he drew his inspiration from gay-friendly resorts, but Reisner thought it was time to market a hotel that was ran by gays that welcomed straight people and local New Yorkers.
According to reports, THE OUT NYC rides the momentum of a new global trend that demonstrates the LGBT’s benevolent economic power, welcoming all customers to enjoy the unique and lavish traveling experience many in the gay community already benefit from.
Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University, said the fact that up to 10 percent of the population self-reports as being gay “creates an opportunity” for hotels that appeal to a substantial demographic.
The change in New York’s marriage laws may also play a role in the increase.
THE OUT NYC will provide a communal feel for its guests, offering eight “Sleep Shares,” hostel-style rooms that sleep four, will be equipped with four full-sized beds, personal TVs, a bathroom, and privacy curtains. These innovative shared accommodations start at $99 per person.
Additionally, the full-service restaurant and café, KITCHIN, set to open in May, will serve upscale comfort food. Guests will be able to dine at large communal tables and enjoy picnics prepared by the restaurant’s staff. Reisner said that he hopes the hotel’s welcome-to-all philosophy and atmosphere will help make the KITCHIN “the neighborhood cafeteria.”
It seems like the tremendous economic power that many in LGBT community have will help build bridges of compassion, awareness, and acceptance that many minorities — African-Americans, in particular — still struggle to establish in America.
Would you stay and relax in a “straight friendly” LGBT hotel? Do you think it’s necessary for gays to have exclusive hotels?