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The decline of the Vegas quickie wedding: By the numbers
Sin City is marrying far fewer couples than it did before the recession. What gives?
 
The number of marriage licenses issued each year in Clark County, Nev. has dropped 28 percent since 2004.
The number of marriage licenses issued each year in Clark County, Nev. has dropped 28 percent since 2004.
Robert Holmes/CORBIS

Las Vegas' recession troubles haven't been limited to struggling mega-casinos and cratering home prices. The quickie wedding business has also taken a hit in Nevada's Clark County (home of Las Vegas). The number of marriage licenses issued annually in the county fell by 28 percent from 2004 to 2010. Here, a brief guide, by the numbers:

More than 60
Number of wedding chapels in Las Vegas

128,250
Number of marriage licenses issued in Nevada's Clark County, which contains Vegas, in 2004

91,890
Number of licenses issued in 2010

28
Percent drop from 2004 to 2010

$2 million
Decline in county revenues from marriage licenses since the 2004 peak

$60
Cost of a single marriage license

39.2 million
Visitors to Las Vegas in 2008

37.2 million
Visitors to Vegas last year. "Gas prices, airplane ticket prices, all those things impact people's ability or desire to come to Vegas," says Cliff Evarts, the founder of Vegas Weddings, a chapel operator.

54.1
Percent of American adults who were married as of 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "Because it is harder to attain a stable middle-class status, people are deferring marriage or deciding to live together without marrying," says Sharon Sassler, a Cornell University demographer.

57.3
Percent of American adults who were married as of 2000

About 78
Percent of Las Vegas tourists who are married. Some chapel owners are pushing vow renewal ceremonies to keep busy. "Chapels have rolled out growing menus of vow renewal ceremonies — Elvis-themed, Egyptian-themed, drive-through for those who want to get it over with, including kids, excluding kids — to pick up the slack," says Tim O'Reiley in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Sources: Bloomberg, Fox 5 Vegas, Las Vegas Review-Journal, TIME

 

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