B. wants to have a town similar to Provinceton/Guerneville that's near to Seattle. Unfortunately for B, I spent most of the afternoon wrestling with geographic models of gay male social networks, and approaches to understanding them. It's useful to look at what helps support these kinds of gay resort villages (GRVs).
I'm going to use the dataset from Handel, Shklovski, "Ambiguity, Risk and Disclosure" (In press at GROUP 2012: Sanibel Island, FL) as a basis for the analysis, mostly because I have it on my machine so I can do quick and dirty queries against it. I decided to look at the four largest cities by population from this dataset (n=13442). A simple table really helps illustrate how GRVs work from a population / financial basis:
|City||"Partner" GRV||CBSA Percentage|
|Los Angeles||Palm Springs||~9.5%|
|New York City||Fire Island||9%|
As a key to this, look at Los Angeles. It's GRV is Palm Springs. And, the Los Angeles CBSA constitutes about 9.5% of the total population of the dataset. Note: I'm playing really fast and loose with my Core-Based Statistical Areas here. But, I don't think it really impacts my basic argument.
What sort of jumps out here is that these cities all have about 7.5-10% of the total population of the dataset. And together, they are more than one third of the entire dataset (35.5%) This suggests that a GRV needs a huge catchment basin to be successful. Unfortunately, even a generous reading of the Seattle catchment basin (WA, OR, ID, and MT) only gives us about 4% of the dataset (even though, suprisingly, it is #6 on the by-city list).
I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I just don't see how it's going to work from simple numbers perspective. There are two caveats here, though. First, I think the proper analysis here needs to use something more sophisticated, like the gravity model for understanding demand forecasting. The second is that using this model, I can't really explain Provincetown. Provincetown's catchment basin is only 2.25% of the dataset. Admittedly, the Handel/Shklovski is a purely gay male dataset, and lesbians may be critical for the success of smaller GRVs.