7/7/07: The Luckiest Day in Vegas?
Peter Greenberg Worldwide
July 4, 2007
It's the biggest thing since Y2K...only this time they're calling it the luckiest day of the century.
The upcoming date, 7/7/07, has fortune-seekers all abuzz that this is the day to find love and money.
So what's the sizzling destination for this hot summer day? It's all about Vegas, baby.
Wedding planning Web site The Knot reports that of its members, approximately 38,000 couples are getting married on July 7, compared to an estimated 12,000 on any other weekend in July. In Vegas, it's estimated that there will be about 3,000 weddings on that particular day.
Las Vegas hotels and chapels booked up so quickly it was obvious there was a gold mine of promotional opportunities--one that was somewhat unexpected and organically driven. Bryan Allison, vice president of marketing at Vegas.com, explains, "Usually we see a spike [in hotel and wedding bookings] on New Year's and Valentine's Day. There are also certain seasonal times like March Madness and the SuperBowl. But this is much more unusual because it's July."
Indeed, even the temperature seems to be cooperating. Weather reports are saying that temperatures in Vegas will reach a toasty...107 degrees.
The stars certainly seem as if they've aligned for this day. Independence Day holiday falls in the same week, and the 7th is on a Saturday which boosts the number of holidayers. For some couples, it represents a fortuitous day to start a marriage off right. The number seven can be found in multiple Biblical passages and is prominent in the Torah. Hindu traditions point toward the seven chakras, and Japanese Shintoism refers to the "Seven Lucky Gods." And in Vegas, of course, Lady Luck is depicted as wearing earrings with the number seven.
For others, like Kim Devore and Chad Ogden, who are getting married at Lake Las Vegas Resort, the groom thought the day would be easy to remember (the couple recalls that he got a punch in the arm for that).
By early June, Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel already had 170 weddings booked for that day, where a normal busy Saturday has 50-6 ceremonies. The chapel only has a few spots open, but is still offering two wedding packages priced at $770, including an Elvis-themed Lucky 7 Pink Cadillac special ("theatrical lighting and fog" included).
Mandalay Bay booked up so quickly that event planners decided to hold a mass wedding on the resort's beach to accommodate the rest. Thirty-four brides will walk down the aisle for a beach wedding followed by an outdoor reception.
The lucky day even extended to one staffer's personal life: While entrenched in coordinating the mass wedding details, Mandalay Bay's event planner Amy Jones was taken by surprise when her boyfriend popped the question. Now the 28-year-old is handing over the reigns and will be leading the line of brides down the aisle: "We met at Mandalay Bay, our first kiss was at here on New Year's. But I promise our first child isn't going to be at Mandalay Bay," laughs Jones.
In fact, the hotel had to get extra creative to accommodate the couples who wanted in on the lucky day. Before the idea for the mass wedding was in place, one prospective bride called up the hotel and was told that only one spot was open...inside the Shark Reef. Now Deborah Carter and Perry Contreran are flying in from Dallas to have an aquatic ceremony inside the Reef tunnel, surrounded by some 2,000 sharks, tropical fish, reptiles and eels.
"We were trying to be creative...and I'm kind of a numbers freak," says Carter, a snorkeling aficionado. The couple, engaged for nine years, had intended on getting married on 2/20/2000, but as luck would have it, they delayed the ceremony and only decided on a new date when the idea of 7/7/07 rolled around.
Plenty of other hotels are jumping on the marketing bandwagon. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, is offering two packages: one for $7,707 which includes a stay on the 7th floor, a tour of Hoover Dam (one of the seven wonders of the world), seven hours of spa treatments, $777 in the casino, and a $777 shopping spree; the more pared-down package for $777 includes a seven-course dinner and a $70-minute spa treatment.
Caesars Palace is offering a Lucky 7 mass wedding ceremony at 7 p.m. and Planet Hollywood is offering a wedding package for $777 that includes a night in a high roller suite.
And if you're not in the market for a prospective partner, there are plenty of other 7/7/07-themed events going on. At Mr. Lucky's 24/7 in the Hard Rock Hotel, you can find the surf-n-turf Gambler's Special for $7.77, while Wolfgang Puck's restaurants are offering a special cocktail called the Strawberry Hardway...named after a card combination of triple 7s.