Who Put the Bill in the Billionaire.

 

The richest people in the world have lost billions but from the looks of it, you’d never know. A year ago 1,125 billionaires existed; today there are only 793 billionaires. The average billionaire’s net worth is $3 billion, which is down 23% in the last 12 months. Despite the numbers, the world’s billionaires are still sitting pretty on mega-properties. Bill Gate stock may be down but at the end of the day he goes home to a 66,000-square-foot compound. Gates compound worth as much as $113 million, costs $1 million in annual property taxes alone. Bill Gates built his home into a hillside on the edge of Lake Washington, near Seattle, it’s an 84-step trek to the main entrance. Not a fan of walking, don’t worry there’s an elevator. Wood columns in the foyer are over 70 feet tall, doors inside the house weigh over 800 pounds but have been balanced for easy handling. The roof is stainless steel and the woodwork flawless, with imported woods from around the world. Hidden cameras inundate the property and interior house. The most state-of-the-art movie theatre in the world is below ground encased in a concrete shell. “Fort” Gates features a 60 foot swimming pool with an underwater music system; a 2,500-square-foot gym; and a 1,000 square-foot dining room, which seats 24. The estate is electronically monitored down to its trees. A 40-year-old maple in the driveway is electronically monitored 24 hours a day. If the tree seems dry, the right amount of water is automatically dispensed. Not bad Mr. Bill Gates, not bad at all.

Another Ferrari Challenge Down. Racing Exotic Sports Cars is Fun!

Click for more pictures from the Ferrari Challenge 2009Last Friday night Imagine Lifestyles did a company dinner at Prime Italian. Prime Italian is across the street from predecessor Prime 112 and both restaurants are kind of a big deal on Miami Beach. We love Prime Italian but will warn you that it’s a really heavy meal. Probably not the best choice before a big club night out, our massive dinner was literally followed by bed (really healthy). In short, try Prime Italian; you’ll be hooked on an insane amount of mouth-watering carbs. Saturday morning we woke up at 6 a.m. for work. Our work consisted of getting into our 2008 Ferrari F430 and driving over to the Collection to kick-off the Ferrari Challenge. We told you about the Ferrari Challenge awhile back but if you didn’t read the blog, here you go. If you own a Ferrari or two then you can buy your way into the event but you definitely have to own the Ferrari first. The event begins with breakfast at the Collection, which is the ultimate fancy shmancy car dealership, slash exotic car collection in South Florida. Next, a police escort, escorts all the Ferraris to the racetrack in Homestead.  Think Presidential escort except bigger, better, and way bad. The escort consists of a long line of Ferraris legally speeding and passing each other through residential neighborhoods and such.
    Here’s the deal, the Ferrari Challenge differentiates once you get to the Speedway at Homestead depending on the type of ticket you bought. Tickets start at about $150 which is obviously the most minimal, you get to wait on line for a once-around the racetrack. Tickets go upwards to $1500, which will get you three days of racing on the ultimate Ferrari Challenge course, no lines and baller status. Pay more, get hooked up, pretty basic. The Ferrari Challenge is an ultra exclusive affair and there isn’t a lot of information out there about it. Good news is that if you’re a diehard Ferrari fan but don't own one or own a Ferrari but don’t want to rack up the miles around a racetrack all weekend, just rent one from Imagine Lifestyles.  We have a fabulous Ferrari fleet, all you have to do is plan for a vacation weekend during the 2010 Ferrari Challenge. The wife, girlfriend or significant other can sit by the beach all day, shop and hit the spa. You can drool over and race Ferraris like a mad-man, it's the best of all worlds. If you give us a heads up we will not only get you behind the wheel of one of our Ferraris but we will get you tickets to the Challenge, set up your stay, even get you into the best restaurants, spas, etc. etc.  We believe in the very best, we know the very best and we can get the best in MIami for you.
        The Ferrari Challenge ends amongst new Ferrari friends, more food, beverage and an escorted ride home. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday in Miami, you know you’re a little jealous.

 For Video on the Ferrari Challenge Visit: Video of Imagine Lifestyles Taking on Ferrari Challenge

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Check our fleet of Exotic Rental Cars

Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals

Sick San Fran Penthouse for Sale

The Penthouse at the St. Regis in San Francisco is on the market if you’re in the market to buy. The majority of you aren’t about to go splurge on a $70 million penthouse but let us paint a picture for you. The luxurious space is over 20,000 square feet and features a movie theater, pool and 2,900 square foot terrace balcony. The owner of the St. Regis Penthouse is CEO of MacFarlane Partners, and the manager of Californian Public Employee Pension Fund. Forget about someone paying $70 million for the Penthouse pad. We are more interested to know why Californians let their pension fund be held and managed by a real estate investment firm, umm, hello?

Every Luxury Ski Vacation needs a Shiny Designer Snowboard

Louis Vuitton did designer skateboards and Chanel did designer ski gear and so the trend continues. Revolutionary snowboard designer Henri Nidecker has joined forces with Swarovski because that’s what everybody does to bump up the price. Swarovski is good at taking ordinary things to the next level; they have crystallized more things than God. Nidecker snowboards will come decked with Swarovski crystals in one-of-a-kind patterns thanks to the kids at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL). No clue about price yet but boarders better keep these snowboards in hand or on the wall. The Nidecker Swarovksi snowboards might actually make better wall décor.

Air Harrods for the Sick at Sea. Luxury Helicopter Charter.

The world's most exclusive department store is Harrods of London and just in case that was up for dispute, check it out. Harrods has just added a private aviation program to services offered. To offer the firm's ultra rich clientele air support via helicopter and corporate jet, Harrods has teamed up with the UK based Watkins Yacht Management company. The two firms will offer a "streamlined luxury travel experience" for the wealthy at sea. Harrods will fly you in from sea to shop and back out to your yacht with bags in tote, luxury all the way is to be expected.  Next time you're on the mega-yacht and get sea sick, take a break, call Air Harrods and spend the day shopping  in London. Yachts, jets and Harrods, life doesn't get much better.

A More Accessible Mile High Club for Luxury Jetsetters

A romantic dinner for two will soon be offered in the sky. First class passengers on Swiss International flights will now be able to enjoy an in-flight table for two. According to the airline, all new A330 airplanes will boast the new "architechtural" design.  Just another perk for the jet setting, millionaire to luxuriate in. First class flyers can now mingle more easily, in their echelon; a new kind of mile high club.

Paris Hilton Shops To Save Us All

 
Currently, the uber-rich still have money and the poor just keep getting poorer.  And apparently Paris Hilton is very aware of this economy issue. The multi-millionaire celebutante admits that her income has been unchanged by the global financial crisis. Ms. Hilton confessed that promoters are still paying her upwards of thousands of dollars to make appearances. The girl who basically got famous off her daddy's last name and bank account, is now pledging to do her part to save the economy. Paris is convinced that her excessive shopping habits will boost the retail industry, ergo, help the economy. The heiress is going to shop her way out of the recession and supposedly save us all. Paris Hilton is totally self-absorbed and narcissistic but, at least, she kind of has the right idea. 

The French Actually Made it Better: Luxury Mansion For Sale

A Los Angeles mansion designed to look like Versailles has been on the market since 2007 for $125 million. The gaudy Versailles poser belongs to Suzanne Saperstein, the divorcee of Texas millionaire David Saperstein. The 50,000 square foot estate known as Fleur de Lys, sits on about five acres in Beverly Hills, California. The Sapersteins' bought the lot in the 1990's and spent five years building the monstrosity.

Fleur de Lys features Italian marble walls, French limestone floors, gold-embossed leather wall coverings, gold-leaf crowned moldings and a ballroom with ceiling frescos. Plus, a library, two kitchens, a movie theater for 50, and a massage room and gym. That's not it, theres a pool house with full kitchen, a three bedroom manager's house, staff quarters for ten, a nine car garage, oh and, almost a mile long jogging track.

Fleur de Lys ties with Donald Trump's Palm Beach mansion for second highest listing price currently in the U.S for a single-family house. The first spot for highest listing price belongs to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan's Aspen, Colorado ranch, listed for $135 million. The estate has been on the market for some time now, probably because its an immense eyesore. If you want to see Versailles then go to France! In this case, the French did do one thing better then us. If Ms. Saperstein does manage to sell Fleur de Lys, the estate will break the previous California record for a listing price, which was $75 million. Well, good luck with that ya'll.

Once You Go Black You Never Go Back

The American Express Titanium Centurion card opens doors the world over but just what kind of doors?  If you haven't been invited into the "Black Card" club yet then you have no idea. The Centurion Black card may be beyond your scope but this is why we love it. Below you will find five of the most absurd, most bazaar requests made by Centurion clients. And Amex Centurion didn't think twice.

1.  A Centurion cardmember called American Express after getting stuck in the Sahara desert. Centurion organized for the Moroccan army to airlift the couple to safety.

2.  A Cardmember dying for a rare Hermes Birkin bag worth $125,000 plus asked American Express to find her one. American Express is currently working with Harrods to locate the Birkin bag in Europe.

3.  A Cardmember called to request ten rare African tree frogs in a specific color green for his daughter’s birthday. The Centurion team found a pet shop in London that kept the frogs and delivered them in time for the party.

4.  Centurion found a bottle of 40 year old Don Perignon champagne for a Cardmember’s 40th wedding anniversary, the same vintage as they made their first toast with.

5.  For a Cardmember who wanted to propose to his girlfriend in a big way, Centurion arranged for a plane to fly over Victoria Falls with a banner behind reading “will you marry me?”

The Amex Centurion Black card goes the distance, whatever, whenever. American Express Centurion is a highly regarded resource to celebrities and elite people of the world. So what has your American Express Black Card done lately?

Do Your Thing Tom Ford

 
In a state of economic panic, major department stores are reducing overhead and cutting prices. Macy's is feeling the fallout and plans to eliminate about 7,000 jobs over the next couple months, that is four percent of the company workforce. Macy's will be closing 11 stores across the country. And right behind is Saks Fifth Avenue which is slated to cut 1,100 jobs and Neiman Marcus with 375 jobs. The unemployment rate is way high and people are suffering. Well, some people are suffering, Tom Ford is not suffering nor does he sympathize.

The popular menswear designer who once offered feather-scrap jeans at Gucci for $3,000, is going his own way. Tom Ford for Tom Ford is now offering a pair of Japanese selvedge denim jeans for $990. The front button is plated with 18-carat gold and the pockets are lined in silk. On the back, merely a straight line stitched across each pocket and a small black label. For which the label reads TF001 for the Tom Ford boot, or TF002 for the straight-leg cut. We heart Tom Ford's understated designs and in your face approach. Walking about with a huge label on your shirt is new money passe, you shouldn't look expensive, you should feel it. Ford is about old world money, sophistication, and exclusivity. Exclusivity is luxury and Tom Ford is a luxury icon. Tom Ford if you make it, they will come even in this economy.  Think Tom Ford jeans are insane? That's just because you can't afford them. Do your thing Tom Ford!