Vegas Loves Same-Sex Unions

The recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Nevada is earning applause from Las Vegas tourism officials and Strip-resort operators, who are welcoming gay and lesbian couples with special deals and accommodations.

In the offing: Gender-neutral promotions

Las Vegas, long a destination for couples looking to get hitched, has signaled its approval of same-sex marriage, which became legal in Nevada earlier this month, with special deals for gay and lesbian couples. The chapel at the Aria, for one, is planning to make promotions gender-neutral and include photos of same-sex couples in brochures and other marketing materials.

Chapel Director Colleen Kestel-Raidmae told that all MGM Resorts properties on the Strip will undergo training from the Gay Wedding Institute to help them better serve same-sex couples. The chapel is also offering 20 percent off wedding packages and 10 percent off food and beverage packages to same-sex couples who book before the end of the year.

“It’s actually a fairly extensive process to make all of the changes,” Kestel-Raidmae said. “But I think everyone’s very excited. It’s something that Nevada should have done years ago.”

Caesars Entertainment is also wooing gay couples, offering 15 percent off weddings at any of its chapels for the next six months. Caesars, MGM, Wynn Resorts and the Cosmopolitan of have all scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, reported

Phyllis James, executive vice president and chief diversity officer at MGM, said her company has long welcomed LGBT guests, creating “a comfortable environment to walk around in which people are not … acting like you’re strange because you’re a same-sex couple and you’re walking down the hall holding hands.”