While most other county clerks were closing their offices during the first months of COVID, Lynn Marie Goya and the wedding industry implemented strategies to keep couples safe while still allowing them the essential service of getting married. “Las Vegas weddings are open for business,” crowed the New York Times Sunday Business Section.
Las Vegas’ wedding industry has surged since County Clerk Lynn Marie Goya reopened the Marriage License Bureau in late April of 2020. When the office opened its doors after a six-week closure, couples were lined up around the block.
Yet, April 2021 had its busiest month in years, with nearly 8,000 licenses issued. In April of last year, officials gave out only 400, said Fox News. “As more and more people get vaccinated and are encouraged to travel again, we have just been bombarded. We are up over 2019 numbers which was already a really good year for us,” Lynn Goya, Clark County Clerk told KLAS News.
“”About 20% of the licenses we issue are to locals, and 80% are to tourists. Before COVID shut the international tourism down, of that 80% of tourists that come to Clark County to get married about 20 to 25% were international,” Lynn Goya, Clark County Clerk told Fox News. “Last year we only had 3% because obviously people aren’t traveling and they still aren’t traveling yet internationally.”
The $2.5 billion industry permeates the economy, Goya told NPR, supporting 18,000 jobs.
Clark County Clerk Lynn Marie Goya said she thinks the pandemic may have changed how people look at being in a relationship.
“I think it made people re-evaluate what’s important to them,” Goya told US News. “One is the financial and health benefit aspect of getting married. But also, you know if something terrible happens to you, you have somebody you can trust and rely on. There’s a solidity that being single doesn’t offer.”