Rich people in L.A. are rushing to join a new type of private clubs, if they can get in.
Having a lot of money isn’t enough to get into the private clubs with only a few members that are all over Los Angeles.
Plus points if you’re young, successful, and have a great personality. These days, it also helps if you’re not white. It helps to know someone who has already gotten past the velvet rope and can vouch for you. You’ll have to fill out an online application, meet with the vetting committee for an interview, and be patient: The waitlists for the most exclusive clubs have tens of thousands of names and can be months or even years long.
Once you get in, if you do, there are membership fees (about $2,500 to $6,000 a year, though one new club in San Francisco is charging as much as $300,000 to join) and rules to follow, like not using your phone, not taking photos or videos, dressing a certain way, having a certain number of guests, and only using your laptop in certain places. Come to see and be seen, but don’t tell anyone about it. Naming another member on social media or to the paparazzi is almost always a surefire way to get kicked out for good.
Even so, there are a lot of people who want to join the new type of clubs that only members can join. So far, neither has a stock market that is going down and an economy that is getting close to a recession. The secret hideaways, which were already becoming more popular, became even more popular during the pandemic because they promised a full day-to-night experience that combined co-working and socializing under one stylish roof (or on top of it). For some, the fact that they are only for a select few has added to their appeal.
“You only want to go to the nightclub that no one can get into or the hottest restaurant where you can’t get a reservation,” said Colin Coggins, a 38-year-old writer from Los Feliz who joined the Britely as soon as it opened last summer. “The only reason I know of for people I know to have memberships is to look cool.”
The Sunset Strip spot charges $2,900 a year for access to its two members-only Wolfgang Puck restaurants, rooftop pool, spa, 24-hour gym, and bowling lanes, as well as a full schedule of activities like yoga classes, DJ residencies, movie screenings, off-site retreats, and an upcoming “heart-expanding poolside sound bath.”