All aboard...the rainbow rails! Following an announcement earlier this summer that Amtrak will use its diversity funds to launch a first-ever $250,000 multimedia advertising campaign aimed at the LGBT community?of course drawing ire from conservatives (Go, Rachel!)?the government-owned rail company unveils its new gay microsite, AmtrakRideWithPride.com.
The rather butch site, designed with a metallic motif and supported by public funds (trains being more welcoming than the military these days, we guess) is supported by TV spots as well as print and digital ad campaigns in gay media and aims to raise the level of awareness of the benefits of train travel and increase consideration and ridership amongst this segment, according to Darlene Abubakar, director of national advertising.
To that end, there's a comprehensive Pride and LGBT Event Guide valid through the end of November, listing everything from HRC dinners to gay rodeos, a news ticker provided by 365Gay.com, as well as info on its sponsorship and diversity employment initiatives. Most useful is the Gay-friendly Destination section featuring mini-guides to 10 hubs for gay tourism: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Although the booking engine re-directs you back through Amtrak.com main site, rotating slides highlight key deals from Amtrak Vacations (800-AMTRAK-2) such as roundtrip rail from St. Louis to Chicago, two nights accommodation at the Essex Inn and admission to the Skydeck Chicago for only $270. A similar package from Philly to DC comes in at $305.
Check it out now and consider making your next getaway by train. They took heat supporting us, so best to support 'em back.