L.A.'s celebrity tour business is getting out of hand

tours.jpgA decade ago there were only a half-dozen or so companies. Today, the number is closer to 40, although no one knows exactly. That's part of the problem, reports THR. Some tours are well established while others are fly-by-night - and there are very few rules and regulations to separate the good from the bad. None of this is exactly new, as you can see from the above "I Love Lucy" clip - tours of the stars homes are nearly as old as Hollywood. I guess the difference these days is a sense of entitlement among the tour givers and goers. Lucy was nosy, but at least she was polite (and funny) about it. From the Reporter:

Yotam Solomon was taking an evening stroll with his dog near his home above the Sunset Strip in early June when, suddenly, a bright light shined in his face. The Israeli fashion designer, who has a Los Angeles-based eponymous line, struggled to make out who was accosting him when he heard a voice over a loudspeaker: "Don't worry, this is not a celebrity -- he wouldn't be walking his own dog." Solomon found himself staring at a van filled with gawking tourists.


While it's a niche of local tourism that the entertainment industry doesn't entirely dislike because of the way it burnishes Hollywood's aura, other groups have taken issue with the rapid expansion. The proliferation of tour companies has led jurisdictions like Beverly Hills to create new regulations to deal with traffic, privacy and safety issues. Some tour companies have responded with measures designed to appease residents who have grown annoyed by the gawking and believe the tours have impacted the real estate market. What has emerged is an uneasy detente among government, touring companies and homeowners.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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