In New York City, wedding guests aren’t just throwing rice—they’re throwing cash. Since legalizing gay marriage a year ago, New York City has reaped $259 million worth of economic benefits. At least 8,200 gay-marriage licenses were issued, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, which means that more than 200,000 out-of-town guests have traveled to the Big Apple to attend same-sex ceremonies. More than 250,000 hotel rooms were booked at the average daily rate of $275. New York is the sixth state to legalize gay marriage, and legislatures in Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington passed similar laws this year that have yet to take effect.