December 03, 2016

Websites Offer Exclusive Hollywood Access

Oscars Theater 600x310

By ROBERT W. WELKOS

“Don’t Miss this Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Meet Miley Cyrus.”

That’s just one of the “celebrities for hire” listed on a website called Millionaire’s Concierge out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., that also dangles the opportunity for its presumably rich clientele exclusive entre to major movie premieres, awards shows, walk-on roles “in the Hottest TV Shows or Films,” and many other luxury experiences.

“The World’s Biggest Stars Come to You!” the website exults.

“Hiring a celebrity for your next party won’t just provide you with the opportunity to meet a beloved star—it produces enormous entertainment value for you and your guests. Whether you’re planning a sweet-sixteen birthday party, celebrating a recent accomplishment, or simply painting the town red for the sake of it, a celebrity performance will turn your special occasion into an unforgettable experience.” Celebrities can also help “get your message across” at corporate events, the website notes.

It then lists such “celebrities for hire” as the Beach Boys, Blink 182, Jethro Tull, Julio Iglesias, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Jim Carrey, Sylvester Stalone (sic), Oscar De La Hoya, Jenny McCarthy, Donald Trump, Patrick Stewart “and many many more.”

It’s all about the public’s insatiable desire to be close to celebrities and big events, if you’ve got the money.

“It never goes out of style,” Doug Turner, owner of Millionaire’s Concierge, told HollywoodNews in a brief phone interview.

“I serve rich people all over the world,” he added, noting that he started his company 17 years ago.

The website includes a video segment that appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show which detailed how his company caters to its wealthy clients, like the time Turner said they dropped 50 dozen roses into a swimming pool from a helicopter for a client’s anniversary. The Oprah segment does not mention celebrities for hire.

A spokeswoman for Trump said that while the famed billionaire businessman may have met the owner of Millionaire’s Concierge years back in Florida, in any case, she has asked that Trump’s name be removed from the website.

“(Trump) has no affiliation with Millionaire’s Concierge and he does not do these kind of things,” she said. “He works with speaking engagement bureaus. Mr. Trump is one of the highest paid speakers in the world. These are legitimate organizations. He would never do this.”
HollywoodNews reached out to representatives of DiCaprio, Cyrus, Stone, Stallone and Carrey and have yet to hear back.

Millionaire’s Concierge also offers access to special Hollywood events like after-parties for the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes.

When asked how he’s able to get people into movie premieres, Turner told HollywoodNews, “It’s personal. We have our connections.”

When asked how much it would cost to attend the premiere of “Noah,” which came out Friday, Turner paused to think and then said, “I don’t have any more time. I have to run. Thank you.”

Another website offering access to exclusive events in Hollywood is VIP Concierge in Beverly Hills.

“VIP Concierge doesn’t just offer things to do,” the website states. “We provide thrills and the kind of events that not everybody gets to experience. We can get you into world famous award shows, after-parties, film premieres and all sorts of exciting concerts, theater and adventure excursions around the world.”

Among the entertainment venues the website mentions are the ACM Academy of Country Music Awards and the Primetime Emmy Awards.

One movie premiere and after party listed on the VIP Concierge website is for the expected blockbuster ”Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” which rolls out into theaters in November.

“When you hit the premiere VIP style, you’ll be joining the likes of Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence and the film’s male stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson,” the website states. “You can bet that Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravatiz (sic) and Donald Sutherland will be joining the rest of the all-star cast on the red carpet. (Note: Lenny Kravitz was in “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” but is not listed in the credits of the “Mockingjay Part 1.”).l

“If you’re a diehard fan of the series,” the website continues, “leave the bow and arrow at home and get your movie premiere tickets here.”

Left unsaid are security issues like whether the people trying to gain access to Hollywood premieres and after-parties go through background checks or whether the celebrities know that members of the public have special access to their events?

While Lionsgate would not comment on this particular case, the company does not authorize ticket sales to any of its premieres and when they see websites like this they ask to pull them down.
When HollywoodNews contacted VIP Concierge seeking comment from the owner, a woman who did not identify herself answered the phone and said, “We’re not interested. Thank you much, though,” and hung up.

VIP Concierge is careful not to guarantee access to these premieres. The website contains a disclaimer above its list of “exclusive events” like the “Hunger Games” premiere and award shows that reads: “Please note that this event list is meant for information purposes, and just because an event is listed here, it does not necessarily mean that we are selling tickers for that event.”

Among the other movie premieres and after parties VIP Concierge has on its list are “Draft Day,” “Neighbors,” “The Other Woman,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Maleficent” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” The New York premiere of “Noah” earlier this week was also listed.

Millionaire’s Concierge, meanwhile, lists such upcoming premieres as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Chef,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

On its website, under a section called FAQs, Millionaire’s Concierge asks: “Which events can I attend?”

“Get in touch with us to find out which events are happening, then let us know which event you’re interested in attending, and we’ll work our magic.”

“Can I meet the stars?”

“Often, we can set up a meet and greet with your favorite celebrities.”

But anyone wishing to attend Disney’s premiere of “Captain America” should be forewarned. The studio says it does not sell tickets to its premieres or provide public access to the red carpet, although it does, on occasion, offer tickets to various nonprofit organizations as a way for them to raise money by selling those tickets.

Veteran Hollywood publicist Murray Weissman told HollywoodNews that studios sometimes give out tickets to premieres for charitable causes but promotional premieres are by invitation.
“They go out to the media, to industry people and like that,” Weissman said.

Weissman noted, however, that there are occasions when sponsors of Hollywood events need people to fill the seats. “I do know that rather than have empty seats, a studio will attempt to fill the audience.” Also, if a film is going to premiere at a film festival, he added, the public can purchase tickets into those festival events. “But if it’s a promotional premiere for a movie coming out in a couple of days…it’s usually completely invitational.”

On its website, VIP Concierge touts what it calls “Red Carpet Night Out.” But when you call it up to see what the red carpet night out entails, a message pops up: “Please note that while most of our events are open to all clients, this event is restricted to VIP members due to the limited availability or its ultra-exclusive nature.”

There are other events dangled to would-be members: the Playboy Mansion’s Halloween party, the People’s Choice Awards, the American Music Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and the ESPY Awards, to name a few.

VIP Concierge also offers mansion, exotic car, limousine and yacht rentals.
How much do people pay for this service?

For $18,500 a year, VIP Concierge offers “The Ultimate” membership, which provides access to “our broad catalog of ultra-exclusive events such as celebrity parties, movie premieres, and award shows that are available only to our members.”

”Whether you are looking for the most elite village on Turtle Island or to arrange a dinner party at the latest ‘it’ spot in town, our lifestyle management services are offered to you globally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We get what you need and more, like an Amex Black Card on steroids!”

An “Executive Membership” costs $7,500 per year while membership in “The Inner Circle” runs $2,850 per year.

But VIP Concierge doesn’t accept just anybody. They say applicants must submit an online application “which we review before we approve your membership. Membership is strictly limited to help ensure that we continue to deliver superior service and attention to detail to our members at all times. Be forewarned—we do not accept just anybody. But if you’re legit, you’ve got a good chance to be accepted.”

At Millionaire’s Concierge, the website runs a photo of the Oscars red carpet and a common-on that reads: “If you’re looking to find tickets to the biggest and most extravagant award shows, where you can hobnob with the stars and be a part of history, you’ve come to the right place! Millionaire’s Concierge can get you in to the most exclusive award shows and after parties!”
It goes on: “If you know which award show you want to attend, or if you want some ideas of the most popular and extravagant upcoming awards shows, contact us today and we’ll give you all the details. We can provide access to just about any awards show (and often the luxurious after parties, too!).”

The other website, Millionaire’s Concierge, goes into some detail about the company owner. It describes Doug Turner as being born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania. “Doug’s father was a golf professional and sports were a major part of Doug’s developmental years. He enjoyed tennis and at age 14 was a top-ranked player in the Mid-Atlantic States. Doug as offered a tennis scholarship to college but he declined wanting to immediately experience an adventurous lifestyle of his own.”

He moved to Ft. Lauderdale, where he worked for the Auto Toy Store, “the world’s largest exotic car showroom,” the website adds. “As an employee, Mr. Turner catered to many celebrities and high net worth individuals. Often clients would mention the need for concert tickets, hotel reservations, yacht charters and fine dinging. Doug began to fulfill their needs.

“In 1996, after 11 years with the Auto Toy Store, Mr. Tuner envisioned and realized an opportunity to create a premier concierge service for the rich and famous and discriminating customers.”

Indeed, Millionaire’s Concierge touts worldwide yacht charters, race boat experiences, fighter jet “ultimate experience,” stunt plane experience, sporting events, party yacht rentals, Miami mansion rentals, and more.

There is even a “007 Mission Experience Package” that involves being whisked off in a Bell jet helicopter to the Florida Everglades, where you get on your very own private, high performance airboat, to see wild birds, alligators, cougars and deer and once you’re done, you take the helicopter and zip off to the airport where a limo will be waiting to take you to the Miami Marina so you can board a racing boat and race around Miami beach at 100 mph.

As for Miley Cyrus, Millionaire’s Concierge doesn’t make clear how much it costs to meet the singer but explains:
“Miley Cyrus is one of the most-talked-about celebs, and now you can meet with the super popular performer. Millionaire’s Concierge can arrange to have you meet Miley while she’s on tour! From her early days as Hannah Montana, to her current reign as the ‘Goddess of Twerk,’ Miley is a superstar in every way.”

About Robert W. Welkos

Executive Editor: Robert W. Welkos is an award-winning journalist who covered the entertainment industry for 15 years as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. During this span, he wrote extensively about the movie industry from turmoil in the executive suites, the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and box office hits and bombs to visits to movie sets as well as profiles of top stars and A-list directors, cutting edge features on the newest indie films and visits to famous film festivals like Sundance and Cannes. Prior to entertainment, Welkos worked as a reporter and assistant city editor in The Times’ Metro section where he undertook major investigations for the paper as well as covering breaking news and writing in-depth features. Before joining The Times, he worked for the Associated Press in Reno, Nevada, and City News Service in Los Angeles.

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