If the gay marriage bill passes, the economy could get a boost from the money gay couples spend on flowers, hotels and wedding services.
Owners of flower shops, wedding venues and hotels are licking their chops over the $184 million expected to flood New York if gay marriage is recognized.
"It is going to be a huge expanding market for all of us in the business," said Penny Glazier, co-owner of uber-popular Manhattan wedding venues Bridgewaters and Twenty Four Fifth.
As the Legislature returns to Albany tomorrow, the state Senate is one vote shy of the 32 needed to pass the measure. It passed in the Assembly last week.
Roughly 56,000 out-of-town couples would flock to New York to wed if a same-sex marriage bill were passed, according to a 2007 report by former city Controller Bill Thompson.
In all, the weddings would generate $184 million for the state and $142 million for the city, the report says.
Elizabeth Ryan, owner of the upscale Elizabeth Ryan Floral Design on the lower East Side, said she relishes the prospect of preparing flowers for same-sex weddings. "New York is a very gay city, and if gay people are actually allowed to get married, I would imagine they would have the most fabulous events ever," said Ryan.
"All of a sudden, there would be so many more people throwing parties in New York City."
Thousands of gay couples from the tristate area and beyond have trekked to Massachusetts to wed since it legalized same-sex marriage in 2004 - pumping more than $110 million into the state, says a 2008 report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
The typical same-sex couple spent roughly $7,400 on their wedding, with one in 10 couples spending more than $20,000, according to the report.