In an effort to attract gay tourists, Atlantic City is planning a series of events in the coming months to bring the population which is becoming an increasingly important part of the gaming town's growth strategy.

(Jorge Krohn, ThinkStock)
(Jorge Krohn, ThinkStock)

Mayor Don Guardian also hung a rainbow flag and dedicated the beach at Park Place and The Boardwalk as a gay-friendly beach.

"Everybody is gay-friendly in Atlantic City," said Richard Helfant, president of the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance. "If I could borrow a line from the movie 'Field of Dreams,' if you build it, they will come. We want everybody to come down and try Atlantic City again."

Among the events the city has planned is Sandblast Weekend, from July 18-20, which will be a three-day beach party weekend targeting the gay community. The 2014 Miss'd America Pageant will take place on Sept. 28, which will be a drag queen spoof of the famous pageant. There will also be a StandOUT LGBT Expo from Sept. 26-28, which will be a business-to-business networking event for the gay community.

"Atlantic City has a long history with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community," Helfant said. "Back in the 1960s, Atlantic City was vibrant with gay life. As the city declined, a lot of those businesses went by the wayside. Today, you have 27 million people coming to Atlantic City and no venues for the gay community. We're trying to change that now and bring everybody back home to what Atlantic City used to be back in the day."

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