So far, same-sex marriages have little impact at Tahoe
With the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses beginning on Tuesday in California, at least one South Lake Tahoe wedding chapel has already noted a slight increase in business, but others say they have yet to book any additional weddings.
Robert McIntyre, owner of Tahoe Chapel of the Bells, has performed domestic partnership unions for several years and expects a significant rise in the wedding business at South Lake Tahoe. McIntyre, a minister, already has booked a same-sex wedding for Tuesday and says he has another scheduled for the following week.
“We have booked two so far, and I’m sure we will probably get some more bookings,” he says. “We will definitely see some increase for sure. It will open it up a lot for Tahoe’s wedding industry. Now they have a destination to go to.”
McIntyre says a venue at the lake offers an attractive alternative for Bay Area and other California residents as well as for out-of-staters headed to the area to exchange their nuptial vows. One of the weddings
McIntyre booked is for a couple from Idaho.
“It begs the question that unless Idaho recognizes (same-sex marriages), it may not be recognized. But they are going to legalize (their marriage) in California,” McIntyre says.
A manager for the Lakefront Wedding Chapel says the chapel has received quite a few calls recently but has yet to see an increase in bookings. Nor has High Mountain Weddings booked any additional weddings so far.
A clerk at the El Dorado County Recorder’s Office says she’s been receiving six or eight calls per day from couples interested in obtaining a marriage license in the county, but not many are interested in an actual wedding ceremony.
“They have been waiting this long, and they want to have something better than a civil ceremony,” she says. “I think they are planning on something a little more romantic.”
The cancelation of the 2020 event “severely affected operating revenue,” according to the Great Reno Balloon Race.