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New York's first straight-friendly gay hotel opens

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

A woman walks past colored bean bag chairs in a courtyard at The Out, a newly opened resort in New York, March 1. According to Ian Reisner, managing partner of Parkview Developers, the resort will be the first "straight friendly gay resort" in the city.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

A man talks on his phone in the lobby area of a new gay resort hotel, The Out NYC, in midtown Manhattan after the ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 1.

THE OUT NYC is part of a global trend, said Darren Cooper, senior consultant for Out Now Consulting, an international company based in the Netherlands that specializes in marketing to the gay community.

“Traditionally gay-owned and or operated hotels and guesthouses have been located in vacation resorts, and catered almost exclusively to the gay leisure traveler,” Cooper said. But since 2003 there has been growth in larger, metropolitan, upscale, boutique hotels that are predominantly aimed at the LGBT community but also marketed as "straight friendly." The LGBT community is announcing that it is now “part of the mainstream, but that straights are welcome, too,” he said.

Cooper cited a number of reasons for the increase, including the fact that post 9/11, the LGBT travel market “showed remarkable resilience, a fact that was not lost on the global travel industry as well as gay entrepreneurs and hoteliers.”

-- Reported by msnbc.com contributor Tanya Mohn

Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images

The front of New York City's The Out NYC, during the official opening to the public March 1.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

A room is seen at a new gay resort hotel, The Out NYC, in midtown Manhattan after the ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 1. The 105-room gay urban resort features a nightclub, spa, restaurant and outdoor spaces.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images

The Spa Deck of New York City's first-ever gay hotel, The Out NYC, during the official opening to the public March 1. The urban resort in Hells Kitchen on 42nd Street will be the first hotel and entertainment complex targeted specifically at attracting the LGBT tourist and local community.