Seattle Tourism Industry Hitched To Gay Marriage

Jan 31, 2013

The star of the 1960s TV show Gomer Pyle, USMC, married his longtime male partner at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel this month.

Actor Jim Nabors and husband Stan Cadwallader live in Hawaii, where same-sex marriage isn’t legal.

Seattle tourism officials hope Washington’s new same-sex marriage law creates a new market for gay wedding tourism.

Visit Seattle director of marketing, Ali Daniels, says her organization is launching a nationwide ad campaign next week aimed at drawing same-sex couples to Seattle for a visit – or a wedding. "Our city is such an open and welcoming city in general," Daniels said. "And the fact that we’ve truly embraced this initiative, the LGBT community should feel very welcomed and comforted here, and the fact that we would like to celebrate alongside them."

Daniels says Visit Seattle is marketing a vacation package with Hotel Monaco because of its commitment to making gay and lesbian guests feel at home. "You know, when a same-sex couple checks into a hotel, it’s nice that a concierge doesn’t say ‘two beds, correct?’, and just assume that they’re just friends," Daniels said.

Officials at tourism organizations around the state said they’re considering similar marketing campaigns.