Retreat! Retreat!

CHATSWORTH, Calif. - The first-ever GAYVN Retreat begins Thursday evening in the heart of Hollywood, Calif. Just steps from the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theater, the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame, and other internationally recognized Los Angeles landmarks, the host hotel's luxurious environment and months of industry-wide planning and preparation will make the three-day event an affair to remember, organizers said.

"The GAYVN Retreat is shaping up to be the best and largest gathering of gay programs and webmasters of the year," said Rand Pate, communications director for Epoch , which is a party sponsor. "It's great to see the show hosted in Hollywood and at such a great hotel."

The hotel is the Renaissance Hollywood, an ultra-stylish destination known as much for its glamorous atmosphere as for breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood hills. As the cornerstone of the Hollywood and Highland retail and entertainment district, its sophistication deftly balances the glitz of the trend-setting, world-class shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues nearby.

"I think all the attendees are excited to have a webmaster retreat devoted specifically to the gay segment of the adult online industry," said Harker Jones, editor in chief of trade publication GAYVN. "All the seminars are devoted to issues that are gay-specific. And, of course, being in Hollywood adds a little glamour, which never hurts when you're running into old associates or meeting new ones."

Amid all the splendor, the GAYVN Retreat will immerse digital entertainment industry professionals in a schedule that includes seminars about billing, content piracy, alternative revenue sources, content production, and legal issues. After hours, of course, everyone's time will be occupied with lavish parties and other networking opportunities - in other words, exactly the kinds of events that reflect Hollywood's notorious decadence.

The retreat kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday with a welcome reception sponsored by CCBill and Manifest Men. A subsequent kick-off party hosted by Cybersocket will occupy the late-night hours. Additional mixers and parties hosted by Epoch, Badpuppy, Channel 1 Releasing, Netbilling, and Video Secrets will follow on Friday and Saturday nights.

"I'm really looking forward to the ‘aphrodisiac party' that we, along with PrideBucks and NakedSword, are throwing at Level 3 on Friday night," Pate said. "It's a great club, and we have a very special night planned. A complimentary bar with top-shelf spirits will be flowing from 9 p.m. on, so it's a good thing the club is within stumbling distance of the hotel."

Added Jones, "The networking opportunities will be overwhelming. Don't forget your business cards!"