Gay marriage is not only making couples happy — it’s making New York City money, and lots of it.
City officials announced Tuesday, on the one-year anniversary New York's same-sex marriage law went into effect, that gay marriages across all five boroughs have generated $259 million for the city’s tourism industry and $16 million in city revenues.
Local wedding venues, restaurants, hotel rooms, gift registries, bridal shops and florists have all seen an uptick in business thanks to the gay marriage law, said Councilman Daniel Dromm at a press conference at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau this morning.
“Marriage equality is good for New York!” said Dromm. “For LGBT people, marriage equality obviously has a direct, personal impact but it has also been good for New York’s economy. And that is good for all of us.
At least 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in the past year, accounting for more than 10 percent of the 75,000 marriage licenses issued in New York City since the law went into effect on July 24, 2011.
Almost 70 percent of same-sex couples held their receptions at restaurants, homes, hotels or catering halls.
"Marriage equality has made our City more open, inclusive and free — and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy," said Bloomberg. "New York has always been a great place to get married and since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, we’re welcoming more and more couples, their families and friends from around the country and the world."
Cash comes pouring in
Results from a survey of same-sex marriages conducted by the ARA research firm found that in the past year:
- The average cost of a same-sex wedding celebration was $9,039
- 31 percent of couples spent $10,000 or more
- 235,900 hotel room nights were booked for weddings in New York
- More than 40,000 wedding announcements were printed
- 47,445 wedding favors were bought
- 201,600 guests traveled from outside New York to attend same-sex marriages, booking hotel rooms at an average daily rate of $275.
Businesses love saying 'I do'
Manhattan’s own Starbright Floral Design has reportedly had an influx of business since the Marriage Equality Act passed. “With more couples marrying in New York, our business has seen a jump in the last 12 months,” said co-owner Nic Faitos. The floral shop, located on 28th Street, has 25 full time employees and participated in "NYC I Do," a marketing campaign launched by NYC & Company immediately after the law passed. In order to make New York a top wedding and honeymoon destination, the "NYC I Do" website consolidates local wedding goods and services for couples looking to get married in the city.