Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vegas Left BIG Gay $$$ On The Table

So the California Supremes have mandated today that gay couples must be allowed to marry, too. Not civil-union, but marry. No, Miles and I are not heading to glamorous Barstow or Needles any time soon, seeing how we wouldn't be able to take out newfound rights back with us to Vegas.

BUT. It was just a few hours after the ruling that the Wyndham Orange County put out a press release offering 50 percent off to the first 50 gay couples who book their weddings and receptions at the hotel and hold it by the end of 2008.

Here's what Tom Smalley, the general manager, said in a press release: "When we launched our same sex commitment ceremonies at the hotel last year, this was day I was waiting for. Today’s ruling brings to life this vision for supporting same-sex couples in Southern California, who want to be able to publicly and legally exchange their vows."

Yes, it's crass commercialism and opportunism. But that's just the point. Bring on all the crass commercialism and opportunism you can afford! When Nevada hypocrites decided earlier this decade to constitutionally ban same-sex nuptials after decades of symbolizing forces that conspire to defeat sanctity of marriage, they probably cost the state many, many millions of dollars in tourism revenues.

In fact, I'm going to do a little work on this question and see if there's someone who can give me even a vague estimate of how much money was lost. But I suspect the Vegas casino bosses who, a brutal economic downturn, must now watch a massive stream of gay-marriage tourists flood California -- even if it's legally meaningless from whence they came -- are wondering how the supposedly live-and-let-live voters of the Silver State got this one so darn wrong.

Perhaps it's just that they didn't flood the airwaves in 2000 and 2002 when the referendum was pending urging folks to defeat it on grounds not that it was a civil-rights atrocity but that it was economically stupid?

Just a thought.


mike_ch said...

Well, there's always the honeymoons. Those who have been marketing that kind of angle (such as Harrah's initiative at Paris) will probably be marketing that.

I don't think the fact that the California marriages aren't valid here will deter either the marketing or the customers, either. Everyone knows that for better or for worse, this city is LA's most distant suburb. It just happens to be on the other side of an imaginary line.