Las Vegas Sun

August 19, 2014

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Heaven opens its gates

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Tiffany Brown

Bare essentials: The scene at Heaven, a weekly gay event.

Calendar

Heaven Saturdays
Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage
Saturdays, 10 p.m., 21+

Despite the March chill, more than 1,800 people turned out for the opening of Eduardo Cordova’s Heaven poolside party at Bare Pool Lounge Saturday night. The weekly gay event—“Rated E for everyone”—entirely transforms the petite daytime oasis into a topless (that is, roofless) party under the stars with sounds by resident DJs the Perry Twins and Speedo’d O and Le Reve performers frolicking in Bare’s infinity pool.

In Heaven, Bare’s main pool receives a sturdy acrylic dance floor cover around which miles of diaphanous white fabric evoke an appropriately heavenly air. Muscle-bound winged angels of good and evil go-go dance on platforms, one of which also hosted sexy Kat DeLuna’s live performance.

Gay party don Jeffrey Sanker made an unannounced guest appearance that almost caught Cordova off-guard: “I was surprised by Jeffrey Sanker and his LA crew showing up to support my event and congratulate me in such a fun night!”

Of course, not everything goes right on opening nights. Cordova reports that he did receive some complaints about the 45-minute wait to get in and the crush at the bars, which at various times ran out of product and cups—all tributes to the night’s overwhelming turnout and all issues that have since been addressed for this Saturday’s party, which features guest DJ Brett Henrichsen. A third bar has even been added to alleviate the rush.

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Cocktails? Check! Pecs? Check! Check!

“I think that the gay community in Vegas is not used to beautiful venues and great customer service and I think they really like that I am redefining gay nightlife for all of us,” said Cordova. “We’ve been focusing on having the best customer service,” agreed Maurizio De Caroli of Eduardo Cordova Presents. “If there is one thing that has been missing in the gay clubs, it’s customer service.” No worries there; staff was imported from all over Light Group to attend to guests’ needs.

Among those guests were Lance Bass, Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Twilight), cast members of Fame, Brothers and Sisters, and more drag queens than you could shake a Lanvin heel at, including Syren Vaughn, Meana, JewDi Vine and Diva Delafuente, who was crowned Miss Las Vegas Pride 2010 just this month.

"This is everything I wanted and more,” said Cullen, a new import from Michigan. “You won't find this in NY, you won't find this in LA. I've been to Miami a few times but this is pure Vegas." Also pure Vegas, Cullen and his friend Christopher each greeted busty Meana with a rollicking, um, “motor-boating.” After expressing my displeasure at being left out, I was treated to the same special treatment, a first in my book. “I thank MGM mirage for this [party],” Cullen continued after letting go of my chest. “I love it, it’s incredible. I know where I will be every Saturday."

“It’s about time that these hotels recognize that the gay community has a lot to offer,” said Delafuente. Rex Rebel, Delafuente’s official “purse bearer,” heartily agreed.

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