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Queer-friendly bus tour to launch in Salt Lake City

The idea for Pride Tours USA came after leading a bus tour through San Francisco and speeding past the Castro.

“Two male passengers, who were obviously more than friends, came up and asked me why we weren’t going to stop,” said David Beach, Pride Tours USA co-owner and manager. “I went back to the hotel that night and I couldn’t find any tour company that catered specifically to a queer and allied crowd.”

After months of research and itinerary planning, the tour company is ready to launch the first set of fabulous trips. The grand opening tour is a trip from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas with a dinner reception and stay at New York-New York Hotel and Casino, admission to La Cage drag show and other Vegas highlights. The trip, from Feb.10-12, is an inexpensive way to experience Las Vegas and not have to worry about driving, airfare or itinerary.

Other trips include a San Francisco to Portland wine tour, a California “high-life” tour, a Utah national park tour, a New York to Boston tour, a Grand Teton adventure tour and various Pride Festival tours including Boise to Salt Lake and Salt Lake to Los Angeles.

“A lot of bus tours focus on extreme budgeting and have cheap accommodations, but ours focuses on comfort and entertainment while remaining affordable,” Beach said. “When you join a Pride Tour, you can customize it to fit your style. We plan all the hotels, meals and activities. Participate in what you want and skip the rest. We want to make your trip as simple as possible.”

In addition to catering to queer and allied guests and destinations, the tours are extremely eco-friendly and encourage a buy-local attitude. The featured restaurants will be locally owned and queer-friendly. The buses are the most fuel-efficient available and all the vendors participate in green initiatives in one form or another.

“We’re going to be a green-friendly, queer-friendly tour company that is focused on customer service and making sure everyone has a great time,” Beach said.

Guests need only to plan transportation to the launch city and Pride Tours USA takes care of the rest. Some meals are included in the purchase price, as is the hotel stay, so budgeting for the trip is simple and no planning is required.

“Whether you’re looking for a more adventurous trip that’s suitable for families or looking for an adults-oriented trip to Vegas, we’ve got something for you,” Beach said. “We want singles, couples, friends and people traveling solo. This tour is for everyone.”

Beach and co-owner Peggy Day have more than 20 years in the travel and leisure industry. Beach has been driving tour buses around the country for more than six years and used to drive the QSaltLake Big Gay Fun Bus to Wendover. The company is still looking for vendors and sponsors, and group discounts and tours are available.

For more information and complete itineraries, go to PrideToursUSA.com and find them on Facebook.

Pride Tours 2012 

Salt Lake City to Las Vegas
Feb. 10-12 

Northwest Wine Tour: San Francisco to Portland
May 19-25

Salt Lake City Pride: Service from Boise, Rexburg and St. George
June 1-3

Los Angeles Pride: Service from Salt Lake City and Las Vegas
June 8-10

Pride Northwest: Coach Service from Salt Lake City and Boise
June 15-17

San Francisco Pride: Coach Service from Salt Lake City, San Diego and Seattle
June 22-24

California High Life: Las Vegas to Las Vegas
June 29-July 7

Utah National Parks: Las Vegas to Las Vegas
July 8-14

Outdoor Adventure Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons: Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City
July 22-27

San Diego Pride: Service from Salt Lake City and Las Vegas
Dates TBA

Pacific Coast Extravaganza: San Diego to Seattle
Aug. 4-17

California High Life: Las Vegas to Las Vegas
Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Utah National Parks: Las Vegas to Las Vegas
Sept. 2-9

Moab Pride: Service from Salt Lake City and Las Vegas
Dates TBA

Albuquerque Balloon Festival: Albuquerque to Albuquerque
Oct. 5-11

Northwest Wine Tour: San Francisco to Portland
Oct. 13-19

Fall Foliage: New York to Boston
Oct. 20-27

Palm Springs Pride: Service from Salt Lake City
Dates TBA

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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