Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel
Las Vegas has been the destination for quick weddings and divorces for a very long time. Wedding chapels here are almost as common as casinos, and wedding limo rental companies do a very brisk business keeping up with demand. However, an escalating feud between neighboring businesses may cause some limousine services to think twice about transporting happy couples to and from the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard. The Chapel is located next to a Super 8 Motel, and, since the motel changed ownership last year, there has been a series of conflicts over the use of a common driveway, parking, signage and other issues. The conflicts between the businesses have been frequently heard in city planning commission meetings, and recently, things have soured to the point of litigation.
The animosity escalated sharply recently when the motel began towing the cars of chapel clients who parked in spaces reserved for motel guests. One of the towed vehicles belonged to a rabbi officiating a wedding, causing a scene in the parking lot between business owners and wedding attendees. Ilan Gorodezki, the new owner of the motel, reports that the roots of the problems began long before he owned the business. The previous owner of the motel let the property become decrepit. Needing the parking space, chapel owners regularly let clients park in the motel lot.
"They are a successful business and I have a lot of respect for them," Gorodezki said. "But for years they were doing whatever they wanted and they can’t do that anymore."
Gorodezki has also lodged official complaints with the city over wedding limousines that park across the only entrance to the motel lot, preventing potential motel guests from entering the driveway. His attorney claims that the limos are essentially "imposing a death sentence" on his client’s motel because drive-up traffic is an important part of his client’s livelihood. Last Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest days of the year for the chapel, Gorodezki painted a red line across the shared driveway and partially blocked it with his car, preventing chapel owners from using most of the driveway to enter the lot.
The owners of the chapel claim that causing patrons to use only the narrow north part of the driveway on their property is dangerous, as it forces wedding limo chauffeurs to make sharp U-turns into the narrow driveway.
"What is a wedding without the limo business?" said John Krieger, the chapel’s attorney.
The owners of both businesses have filed lawsuits, and now the matter will be decided in Clark County District Court. They claim they have explored every opportunity to resolve the conflicts but now feel that litigation is their only alternative.
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