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Neighborhood Fight For the Gay Marriage Tourist Dollar Starts...Now

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Starting next Tuesday, Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards will be more bustling than usual as same-sex marriage goes legitimate in California. West Hollywood is going after out-of-town and out-of-state couples seeking a marriage license and maybe a brunch or two. Throw in the flowers, the catering, and everything else, and you're looking at a huge industry (just ask Massachusetts). Earlier this week, Palms Springs launched its own press campaign, billing itself as a "destination" for weddings; after the jump is the the press release from West Hollywood--the city touts itself as the "top destination" for gay marriages and honeymoons thanks to its central location, temperate weather, walkable streets, and attractive neighborhoods. Gay downtown, where's your press release?

West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


WEST HOLLYWOOD IS TOP DESTINATION FOR GAY MARRIAGES, HONEYMOONS

AFTER CALIFORNIA BECOMES SECOND STATE IN COUNTRY TO ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE


WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 2008) – After more than 20 years of fighting for legal rights to marry, same-sex couples are now celebrating the California Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. The City of West Hollywood, which has historically been a leading advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights, is quickly becoming a prime destination for LGBT couples to celebrate their weddings and honeymoons.

Actively marketed as a premier travel destination to LGBT visitors around the world, West Hollywood is home to Southern California’s largest gay and lesbian population (nearly seven times higher than the national average), the largest Gay Pride festival on the West Coast, and boasts Los Angeles’ most popular gay nightclubs and businesses on the picturesque Santa Monica Boulevard. The city offers 14 gay-welcoming hotels, unique dining, trendy spas, boutique shopping, renowned art galleries and a bustling and energetic atmosphere which causes the city’s population (approximately 36,000 in 1.9 square miles) to double on any given weekend. The West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau promotes West Hollywood as a destination and community that is “Living Forward” in attitude, thought, and lifestyle.

M.V. Lee Badgett, research director at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law, estimates that gay weddings could add $250 million to the State of California's economy over the next 6 months. The City of West Hollywood expects the financial impact from the California Supreme Court’s ruling to greatly and positively impact the local economy due to couples arriving to get married and celebrate their honeymoons, as they take advantage of local hotel packages, and the offerings of local businesses catering to gay couples such as wedding planners and venues. West Hollywood is also centrally located in Los Angeles and offers visitors a temperate climate, safe walkable environment, and attractive landscape.

“West Hollywood’s numerous venues, activities and resources for gay visitors, along with the City’s long-standing commitment to LGBT rights, make us an ideal destination for gay marriages and honeymoons,” said Amy Anderson, Director of Communications for the West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau. “The embracing energy of the city will contribute to making a couples’ marriage and memories very special, and fun,” said Anderson.

The City of West Hollywood in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder Clerk will begin to issue marriage licenses and perform civil ceremonies for same-sex couples on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood. West Hollywood City Councilmembers and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick-off the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses at 9 a.m. at West Hollywood Park. Media parking will be available along San Vicente Boulevard.


Three West Hollywood hotels are offering gay marriage packages:


The Ramada Plaza Hotel West Hollywood


http://www.ramadaweho.com


Honeymoon Special

2-night stay
Upgrade to a newly renovated Loft Suite
Complimentary Bottle of Champagne
Complimentary Parking
Complimentary Wireless Internet
Complimentary Newspaper delivered to your room daily
$599.00 + Tax


The Le Parc Suites Hotel


http://www.leparcsuites.com


Honeymoon Special

1-night stay
King size suite
Bottle of Champagne upon arrival
Breakfast in bed for two
Late check out of 1:00pm
$399.00 including tax & parking


The Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas


http://www.sunsetmarquishotel.com


The Romance Package

2-night stay
Deluxe one-bedroom suite or one bedroom villa
Fresh Flowers
Special welcome amenity
Bottle of chilled Champagne
Special four-course dinner for two paired with appropriate wines
Continental breakfast each morning
Complimentary valet parking and internet access
Two plus Sunset Marquis bath robes
Deluxe One-bedroom Suite, $620 per night (plus 14 percent tax)
One-bedroom Villa, $1,275 per night (plus 14 percent tax)
Available for wedding ceremony and reception
Wedding rehearsal dinner accommodations available
Group rates for friends and family of the couple


West Hollywood’s gay-focused visitor web site, GoGayWestHollywood.com, plans to launch a special section on the page for couples looking to get married in West Hollywood. This resource will offer information on wedding venues, local wedding planners, music/entertainment planning, flowers, photography, and more.

About West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau


The West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau is a 501-C-6 non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of West Hollywood through the marketing of the City of West Hollywood as a premier travel and lifestyle destination. For more information about West Hollywood, visit http://www.visitwesthollywood.com


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