The quest for love eternal: Technology only kicks it up a notch
in the 21st century. "After college, the pool of available
people dwindles--time to meet people diminishes," observes Los
Angeles psychotherapist Suzanne M. Lopez. "Dating services
eliminate a lot of riffraff, and during downtime, you can look for
a potential partner." And for those who want a tailored
approach, niche dating allows people to get downright
Niche dating has surfaced notably with services targeting
preferences from religion to hobbies and alternative lifestyles.
Although there is no specific data available on niche dating,
industry-wide dating service revenues topped $917 million in 2002
and is projected to skyrocket to a whopping $1.1 billion in 2003,
according to a November 2002 report, "The U.S. Dating Services
Industry," by market research and consulting firm Marketdata
Enterprises Inc. Research director John LaRosa has seen the
industry boom after 9/11, with singles flooding the market in
search of a meaningful relationship.
High-priced love meets its maker with services like the Millionaire's Club, where moneyed men seek
attractive bachelorettes. Along with unlimited dates, the $10,000
to $20,000 annual membership (depending on whether it's a state
or national search) buys the male suitors sessions with a dating
coach, a relationship counselor and an image consultant. "The
more successful the men, the pickier they are," asserts Patti
Stanger, 41, owner and CEO of the Marina Del Rey, California, firm.
"And they want the best." With projected 2003 sales of
more than $1 million and licensing plans, Stanger and her idea are
a match made in heaven.
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This article was originally published in the January 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 4th Annual Million-Dollar Ideas.
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