Wedding fee hike may not happen
MINDEN – The Tahoe Wedding Association’s desire to increase wedding license fees by $12 slid through the cracks for a third time Thursday at the Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting.
The wedding association has drafted legislation for California and Nevada Legislatures for an additional fee to promote and rejuvenate Tahoe’s declining wedding industry.
The item, which has been removed and continued twice from prior agendas, was pulled at the start of the meeting.
“Hopefully, it won’t come back,” said Steve Weissinger, District 1 Commissioner.
“We only have the opportunity to support a few bills in the Legislature each year and to use it on a primarily California issue isn’t an appropriate use of that privilege,” Weissinger said.
“I think we may see it back when it’s right for discussion,” said Don Miner, District 4 Commissioner.
Miner wants the wedding industry to put its own money into promotional projects and demonstrate marketing results before asking state government for help.
Dave Anderson, who is on the board of the wedding association, predicted the board’s action before the meeting began. Anderson wants Lake Tahoe to be a contender in the wedding industry and doesn’t think the fee is too much to ask for.
He cited Carmel, Napa, San Francisco and Los Angeles as examples of areas whose fees average at least $20 more than they are in Tahoe. In Nevada the fee is $42. In California it’s $45.
Anderson thinks that Tahoe shouldn’t worry about a negative impact from an increased fee. He foresees couples who spend a little more will contribute revenue to the area.
“The weddings that we are losing in Northern Nevada we’re losing to Clark County,” said George Flint, who is a longtime Reno chapel owner.
He attributes the decline to cheap airfares to places like the Stratosphere and The New York New York in Las Vegas.
Flint was allowed to speak because he’d traveled from Reno to speak against the legislation.
“It’s honorable and probably well-meaning, but (the proposal) is wrought with many problems,” Flint said.
“This bill wouldn’t even get a hearing,” he said.
Anderson remains hopeful that both states will simultaneously pass the legislation.
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