My wife and I went away to Sonoma for a quick getaway, last weekend. For those readers who are not familiar with the name, Sonoma and Napa are Northern California's most famous wine producing regions.
Conspicuously, everywhere we went that weekend we ran into wedding parties. When I asked one of the servers at a winery about this unusual number of weddings, she told us that Napa county has regulations prohibiting wineries from holding wedding receptions, so many wedding parties are held in Sonoma instead. She also explained the regulations were put into place with strong backing of the hotel industry association, who wanted to prevent wineries from moving into the event business and competing with them.
Think about this for a second. What business is it of the government, local or otherwise, to tell private businesses what types of events they can or can't host? Why do we allow crooked politicians to sell us all down the river for a bunch of special interests and economic pressure groups? Why do we allow weak industries to insulate themselves from competition by essentially making that competition illegal?
My philosophy: if hotels are worried about losing wedding parties to local wineries they should make themselves more attractive to their customers. What an original thought.