Foremost among the people the Las Vegas LGBT community has to thank for the proliferation of gay parties on the Strip is Eduardo Cordova. But before his great Las Vegas adventure began, the self-professed “nerd at heart” graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in engineering management. The passionate promoter has diligently worked his way up from his start at an up-and-coming liquor company to launch Localites Media and later created the first LGBT events in the Strip’s mainstream clubs. In the four years since then he’s created a number of successful gay soirees, including Heaven at Bare Pool, Sunkissed at Rumor Boutique Hotel, numerous annual Pride events, and the one that started it all, Closet Sundays, first at Cathouse then Revolution. He invites all to the grand opening of his latest venture, Share Nightclub, on March 3.
How did you book that first gay night on the Strip?
I went to every club on the Strip, and everybody would say no because they were scared of being labeled “gay.” But a lot of my friends threw gay nights in L.A. and New York at straight venues, and it was not a big deal in a big city; Vegas [on the other hand] was so bachelor/bachelorette-focused.
I just didn’t give up. I went to every club [before] the owner of Cathouse said, “I’ll let you try it.” I wasn’t allowed to call it a gay night or make too much noise, so it started with 50 of my friends, then 100. I called it Closet Sundays because the night was in the closet. It just grew every weekend. Now [at Revolution], it’s the biggest gay night in Vegas.
What’s the ratio of tourists to locals?
Sunday started all local. Every Sunday I walk around the room and see new faces. The host and I walk around and introduce ourselves, and I always ask them, “Where are you from, how did you know about the night?” We still have the same locals, and now I almost have more tourists than locals. It’s probably 60:40.
It sounds like you really make a point to make it a personal experience.
Yeah, you have to as a promoter and as a host. More importantly, I want to hear back, whether about the DJs or drinks or if they had a problem at the door. I always try to ensure that everybody’s OK, and I try to get feedback for the event.
Your parties—many in conjunction with Light Group LGBT—have won you numerous awards, including “Best Gay Party for the Men” in Vegas Seven’s 2011 nightlife issue. What makes an Eduardo Cordova Presents event so award-worthy?
I think just by thinking outside the box and giving the LGBT market something new, something fresh, something exciting; a reason to go out. And I think that’s why people love my events. When I put my name on anything, they know it’s going to be good entertainment, service will be good, it’s gonna be an awesome party that they can bring their friends to.
Now you’re bringing that magic touch to your latest venture, Share Nightclub.
It’s the former Minxx Gentleman’s club, a really nice two-story building that has the nightclub downstairs and an ultra-lounge upstairs, the only gay strip club in Las Vegas. I’m going to do their marketing and help with social media, billboards and DJs and talent. The official grand opening is hosted by Ross Mathews from E!’s Chelsea Lately, we have a special performance by Luciana, [plus] 25 celebrities who are flying in for the red carpet. It’s hosted by the NoH8 Campaign; all the celebrities coming in will be getting their [iconic NoH8] photo taken.
How do you think you’ve helped change the perception of the gay community?
As far as the straight market goes and the acceptance of the gays into the straight venues now, it’s a huge difference. It took me almost two years for a venue to say yes for a gay night. Years after that night and seeing the celebrities there, seeing it was a successful night, all these people started calling me trying to move my night. I’ve never had to say no to that many people in my life.