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August 5, 2015

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a special date:

Las Vegas wishes 11/11/11 happened more often

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Leila Navidi

Savanna Smith of Henderson, who turns 11 years old on Nov. 11, 2011, poses in her bedroom on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011.

For believers, 11/11/11 is an auspicious day filled with luck and opportunity. For skeptics, it’s just another Friday. For Las Vegas, it’s a business boon.

Wedding venues are bracing for their busiest day of the year. Hospitals expect an inordinate number of newborns. Shops, restaurants and casinos are hoping $11.11 deals bring outpaced sales.

Today “is a day to do what you want,” celebrity numerologist Glynis McCants explained. “If you want to get married, it’s a really good day. It’s a good day to file paperwork for a new business or to hold a grand opening. It’s a day of empowerment.”

Believers around the world have ascribed cosmic significance to the date because of its sequence of repeating digits that come only once a century. The Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt closed the Great Pyramid of Giza after groups on the Internet began planning ritualistic meetings there. Some believe the date will bring a shift to the human experience. Historically, World War I ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

“It’s very much a lucky day,” McCants said. “There’s magic in those numbers.”

Because of the positive vibrations associated with the date, gamblers would be well-served to hit the casinos, especially at 11:11 a.m. or 11:11 p.m., McCants said. But resorts aren’t expecting a gambling boom. If gaming tables do fill up, it’s likely more a function of the Veterans Day holiday than the specific date on the calendar, experts said.

“Some people will come to town for the long weekend, but I don’t think anything about the number 11 is going to cause people to feel lucky,” said Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor newsletter. “It’s not quite like 7/7/07. Eleven is not a major number in gambling.”

“It’s hype,” Las Vegas roulette-dealer-turned-numerologist Judith Gabriel said. “People get caught up in the drama and misinterpret the facts.”

Gabriel contends that people are misreading the date when they describe it as 11/11/11. In fact, it’s 11/11/2011. People can’t just ignore the two and the zero, she said.

Still, thousands of couples are betting on the date to help make their marriages last. Almost 4,000 couples — three times the norm — have applied for advanced marriage licenses in Clark County, and more are expected to file paperwork today. About 75,000 Americans are scheduled to marry today, and 4 percent of those weddings will take place in Las Vegas. That’s about equal to the number of weddings held here on 10/10/10 and second only to 7/7/07.

Superstitious mothers also see Nov. 11 as a harbinger of good fortune. Local hospitals and obstetricians report an unusually high number of requests for C-sections.

Savanna Smith, who turns 11 today, said she was shocked at the amount of attention her birthday has earned her.

“I realized it two years ago,” she said. “I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal until this year.”

Savanna and her parents brushed off any notion of magic associated with her birthday. But father Russ Smith did pause as he described his daughter’s dinner date with friends.

“I just realized,” he said. “She invited 12 but only 11 could come.”

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