The cost of a wedding in the oceanfront resort town of California is set to plummet after the state passed a bill to allow guests to book a private wedding for as little as $1,800.
The new bill was passed on Wednesday, following the city’s efforts to bring the resort industry in line with hoteliers’ demand to save hotel rooms.
The California State Assembly passed the bill on Wednesday after the city of Costa Mesa pushed back against pressure from hoteliers to cut prices for hotel rooms by 50 per cent, as a result of a shortage of hotel rooms in the city.
The city and its tourism representatives have been lobbying for months for a discount on hotel rooms, saying the cost of the rooms will ultimately go up in the long run because people will have to make more room for their families.
They say they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying against the hotel industry, including a $1 million campaign in the lead up to the 2016 California presidential election.
The hotel industry’s response to the bill is set for a public hearing on Friday, the second day of the legislative session.
The bill, which passed on a vote of 36-19, would give hotels a two-week window to meet hotel room demand before charging a $500 fee to anyone who wants to book the reception.
But in an apparent concession to the hotel lobby, the bill also allows hotel rooms to be booked for as much as $10,000 cheaper than they normally would be.
A group of hoteliers representing the resort trade group called the California Hotel & Resort Association (CHRA) said it was pleased the bill included a 10 per cent discount for guests of any age, and a 5 per cent fee for adults, as well as for people under the age of 65.
“This is a major win for hoteliers, and we thank Governor Jerry Brown for his support of our members’ efforts to address the needs of our community,” said CHRA President and CEO Tom O’Brien.
“We will continue to work with the Assembly and Governor to ensure the bill becomes law.”
The bill was approved by the Assembly on a 24-19 vote, with six Democrats joining Republicans in voting against it.
A number of California state legislators and industry lobbyists have spoken out against the bill, and are expected to attend the hearing on Thursday.
The legislation is likely to become law if it passes the Assembly, which is expected to take up the bill again in the coming weeks.
The Assembly passed a similar bill earlier this year, and it passed the Assembly in January, but the bill died in the Senate.
The new bill also would allow hotels to charge more for rooms booked on weekends.
A bill allowing hotel rooms on private weekends passed the state Senate last year, but died in a Senate committee in June.