As We See It

Las Vegas is a romantic city. No, it’s not. Wait a second…

A social scene in Las Vegas? Check. Dating? Check. One-night stands? Definitely check. Yep, there’s no shortage of hooking up in Sin City, where the nightlife offers untold possibilities and wedding chapels are usually stuffed full of relatively rash decision-makers.

But what about romance? Is Las Vegas a place where we can actually fall—and stay—in love?

Depends on your criteria, I suppose.

Three lists were released this week in the “Most Romantic Cities” category, and the only real consensus among them is an agreement to disagree. Las Vegas placed in the top 20 in two of them—and in the bottom 10 on the third.

The most well-researched of these, arguably, is the Daily Beast’s, which calls its science “relatively straightforward”, taking into account rates for marriage and divorce, the “happiness” of the population and the number of bars and restaurants (apparently you’re romantic if you feed your partner).

Las Vegas’ inclusion on this list at No. 17 seems promising—until you look at our scores. We get an “A+” in “social life,” natch, but a “C” in both “singles” and “divorce.” Worst, we get an “F” in “emotional health.” Is any of this spelling “romance” to you? Me neither.

Things begin going downhill with Amazon’s list, placing Vegas at No. 16 based on sales of romance novels, relationship books, romantic comedies, sexual wellness products and … Barry White CDs. Really? Nothing from this century?

Inexplicably, the final list, compiled by Redbox (because what’s more romantic than taking your date to a DVD dispenser?), puts us at No. 4 among the “least romantic cities” based on the percentage of romantic comedies rented from the company in 2010. Redbox’s press release ends with a shameless listing of the rom-com titles available this month. Plenty of time to improve our standing on next year’s list, right?

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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