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SPRING 2008 | National Parks Go Lavender

SPRING 2008 | National Parks Go Lavender

Who would ever have thought it? Some of our national parks offer LGBT packages.

When Aramark Parks & Resorts (the largest lodging concessionaire in the National Park system) launched their first gay-targeted Out & About travel package at Mesa Verde in 2007, the response "was phenomenal," says Brian Murphy, Aramark's national director of marketing. "It is to date the most successful package the park has ever offered."

Aramark realized they were on to something and quickly launched over half a dozen mostly two-night Out & About packages in other national parks, with further upscale offerings being planned. Destinations range from the Denali National Park in Alaska, with accommodations at the McKinley Chalet Resort and tickets to the Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater, a musical revue performed in a log roadhouse, to Lake Powell in Utah, with a lake-view room, breakfast in the Lake Powell Resort's appropriately named Rainbow Room, a dinner cruise on a luxury yacht, a $150 shopping credit voucher, and a wine, cheese, and fruit basket upon arrival.

This makes Aramark the first national park concessionaire to actively court LGBT visitors. Explains Murphy, "We want everyone to feel more than welcome to celebrate and enjoy these lands the way they were meant to be enjoyed, while being treated fairly and with the respect they deserve." Who knew federal lands would be so accommodating?

To book, contact 602-331-5200;

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Joe Okonkwo