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Richard N. Velotta

Evolve Vegas NYE planning bigger New Year's bash than last year's

29 December 2015

How do you top one of last year's most successful New Year's Eve bashes devoted exclusively to a gay clientele?

By making it bigger this year.

That's the plan by organizers of Evolve Vegas NYE, a first-time event last year that drew about 1,100 guests from six continents.

Mya Reyes, president of the Las Vegas Gay Visitors Bureau, thought attendance could hit about 800 partiers when she organized last year's event.

After the event, publications with primarily gay readerships gave Evolve Vegas rave reviews. Readers of gay travel magazine OutTraveler voted the event among the top six New Year's Eve gatherings worldwide and the Two Bad Tourists blog posted the Las Vegas event as the top New Year's Eve party in North America alongside events in Bangkok in Asia and Madrid in Europe.

"Attendees came from six continents, making this party one of the most diverse and sought-after New Year's Eve celebrations in Las Vegas," the Two Bad Tourists post said.

Reyes, a former diversity marketing expert at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, embraced some of that organization's strategies in developing Evolve — inviting the niche gay community market and foreign travelers.

"We were swept off our feet with the amount of support we received for Evolve Vegas NYE last year," Reyes said. "The attendance was higher than anticipated last year, and we're growing this year's party accordingly. We're keeping the entertainment and programming lineup close for just a little longer, but I can promise that this will be an even more extravagant and memorable year."

Last year, organizers packaged the experience with a side trip to Hollywood, but this year it will be staged exclusively in Las Vegas.

This year's event, again at the Havana Nightclub inside the Tropicana Las Vegas, will feature Edie from Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity" show as master of ceremonies.

Other entertainers scheduled to appear include Trixie Mattel from the "RuPaul's Drag Race" show, Bravo television personality Scott Nevins, recording artist Z LaLa, Las Vegas aerialists Sky Boys with sounds by DJ Amphion.

The party is expected to move to the pool deck outside where guests will have a good view of the "America's Party" fireworks display at midnight.

The event starts for general admission ticket holders at 10:30 p.m., and will run until 3 or 4 a.m. VIP tickets, with admission at 8:30 p.m., includes an open bar and a meet-and-greet with the performers as well as a special viewing of the entertainment acts. General admission is $99 and can be purchased at the Evolve website or at the door. VIP tickets, which went for $149, are sold out.

Last year, attendees came from as far away as Australia to join the party. This year, the guest list has residents from the Marshall Islands coming to town.

"We're getting a lot of repeat visitors this year," Reyes said. "We're happy to see that because it shows that they had a really good time last year."