Las Vegas Sun

March 26, 2019

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Clark County Commission raises wedding fee to fund tourism campaign

High Roller Weddings for 12/13/14

L.E. Baskow

Angel Dodson and Jeremy Cardon of Colorado Springs, Colo., kiss in the shadow of the High Roller lobby after getting married for free to commemorate this century’s last sequential wedding date of 12/13/14 in Las Vegas on Saturday, December 13, 2014.

With 47,000 fewer nuptials taking place in Las Vegas compared to a decade ago, the Clark County Commission today voted to increase the marriage license fee to raise funds for a new wedding tourism marketing campaign.

The commission's unanimous approval means the cost of a marriage license will increase by $14 starting early next month.

Coupled with a $3 technology surcharge effective July 27, the new cost of a marriage license will be a very lucky $77. The fee increase is expected to generate about $1.1 million per year to pay for advertisements promoting Las Vegas weddings.

The number of marriages taking place in Las Vegas peaked in 2004 at 128,000 and has since declined to just 81,000 in 2014, still the highest of any county in the country. The decline has been attributed to increased competition for destination weddings from Hawaii, Dubai, Mexico and other locales, as well as an overall decrease in the number of people getting married.

While commissioners were supportive of finding ways to increase wedding tourism, some were skeptical about placing an office whose primary job is paperwork and record-keeping in charge of a multi-million dollar advertising campaign.

"I'd like to see some performance measures," Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani told County Clerk Lynn Goya. "You're office is not in the marketing business."

Other commissioners agreed and stipulated that Goya consult with the wedding industry and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to develop a marketing plan. The plan will be brought back for review in three months, at which point the commission will vote to release the new funds.

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