By Megan Wadding, May 2015 Issue.
What began 25 years ago as an all-women weekend in Palm Springs has evolved into a grown and sexy weekend in Sin City, thanks to Sandy Sachs and Robin Gans.
These two co-founders, producers and business partners present the fourth annual Girl Bar Dinah Shore Las Vegas – Dinah Vegas for short – April 23 to 26.
Having split from the original Dinah Shore weekend in Palm Springs in 2005, then producing a parallel event for the next six years, Sachs and Gans decided to move the event to Las Vegas in 2012.
“I definitely wanted to do something different. The plan was going to be Las Vegas and bigger hotels,” Sachs said. “We had been in Palm Springs for years, and we just felt it was time to go somewhere else. It just happened that Caesars Entertainment was trying to woo the LGBTQ community.”
According to Sachs, teaming up with Caesars Entertainment – which includes Caesars Palace, The Linq, The Cromwell and the event’s host hotels Planet Hollywood and Flamingo – was the key to what she calls a “really amazing” partnership.
“[Caesars Entertainment] are really committed to the LGBT community. We feel very fortunate to make that marriage,” Sachs said. “It’s very cool how it all just happened. It was meant to be.”
Since moving the event to Las Vegas, Sachs said the focus has shifted from booking big performers to creating a unique, women-centered event at really gorgeous venues that you could not possibly experience anywhere else.
“At the end of the day, people aren’t coming to an event to see the entertainment; people are coming to be around other women,” said Sachs. “It’s about parties, venues, go-go dancers and people just hanging out having a good time.”
Sachs, who is based in Los Angeles, said she is expecting more than 3,000 women from all over the world – and, of course, Arizona – to attend the weekend festivities.
“It’s an easy and quiet drive from Arizona,” Sachs said. “Also, a short flight.”
Sachs said the weekend has already grown to exceed her expectations, adding that the event is intended to be a different experience than the Palm Springs event.
“It’s a different kind of weekend from Palm Springs, but that was our intention,” Sachs said. “We purposefully don’t have events going 24/7. We kind of wanted to back off a little bit and give people time to do their own thing because there is so much to do in Las Vegas.”
“It’s an older, more professional, affluent crowd,” Sachs said. “It’s for people who don’t need to be around lesbians 24/7.”
The best advice Sachs has for first-time attendees: pace yourself.
“There is no last call and our parties go really late and that’s still not the end of the night,” she said. “The party never stops … in Las Vegas.”
Official Dinah Vegas events will include pool parties, a VIP coctail reception, live performances and nighclub events – all of which take place at locations on the Strip.
The weekend’s main event, the Infinity Pool Party at the Flamingo Hotel April 25, will feature a performance by Anita Antoinette, a finalist on season seven of The Voice.
“I thought [Anita] would be really fun. She’s a great entertainer,” Sachs said. “For the younger gals, we have electric pop duo STASH [performing, too].”
For more information, tickets and a complete list of events and venues, visit dinahshoreweekend.com.