Canada's First Casino ChapelPublished March 4, 2005 by OCR Editor
Canada recently launched its first and only casino chapel and so far the response has been excellent.
One woman who recently renewed her wedding vows at the casino chapel explained how it all came about. She had been estranged from her family and only became reunited with them in the recent past. Fran Henderson, the woman's mother, made this comment before the ceremony at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort: "I'm overwhelmed. I'm just glad that we're going to have a chance to do this because we didn't know Angela when she got married, so now all four of us will be able to do this as a family."
Angela Rines, 31, was estranged from her family and spent over 10 years looking for them. She first got married with her husband five years ago. Only months after the ceremony, Rines discovered she was working alongside her birth mother and two sisters at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. This amazing set of coincidences brought the family back together at which point she decided to renew her wedding vows so that her biological family could be there to witness the ceremony.
"I went home, talked to my husband and said, 'How great would it be for us to do this?' said Rines's sister, Mimi McRae, 34.Made a phone call and they were like, yup, definitely. Nobody hesitated ... it was a great idea." Larry Lewin, president of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort has over 30 years of experience in the casino gaming industry, including 20 in Las Vegas. It was his idea to turn the honeymoon capital of Canada into the wedding capital. Niagara Falls attracts visitors from all over the world.
In his own words, Lewin explained that unlike the drive through style weddings in Las Vegas, the ceremonies in Niagara Falls will be more about "simple elegance" similar to what dazzling Vegas hotels like the Bellagio or MGM Grand have done. Lewin is hoping for about 1,200 ceremonies at the casino chapel in its first year.
"We're going to get some people that may come for strictly the chapel once they see it," said Lewin. "But with the 12 million visitors that already come here each year (to Niagara's two casinos) I think this is just an additional option or amenity that we have to offer." If you are looking to get married and you like to play casino games then Niagara Falls may be a place worth visiting in the near future.