Oscar time makes Hollywood businesses big winners

The Academy Awards yield riches every year for the caterers, limousine drivers, hair stylists and many others who support the movie industry.

By Bruce Kennedy Feb 21, 2013 11:58AM

Oscar statuettes at Times Square Studios in New York City on Feb. 15, 2008 (© REX Features)The Oscar trophies handed out at the upcoming Academy Awards cost about $400 each to produce and weigh 8.5 pounds. Their economic weight, however, has a huge impact all across Hollywood and its environs, benefiting a wide spectrum of businesses that serve the movie and entertainment industries.

Analysts say Oscar time injects tens of millions of dollars each year into local businesses and economies in LaLa Land --  some estimates run to $130 million -- pumping cash into everything from hotels to catering to transportation.

In Los Angeles ahead of the Oscars, bubbles Britain's Sky News, “hotel vacancies become non-existent despite massively escalated rates. Restaurants book up and caterers pour out case upon case of the good bubbly. Neither love nor money will hire a town car or limo this week if you didn't book months ago."

Beauty specialists are also making a killing in Hollywood these days, as they get celebrities, would-be celebrities and people who just want to look like celebrities ready for their real or imagined red-carpet close-ups.

You don't even have to be based in L.A. to win. Dermatologist David Colbert recently flew there from New York and rented a temporary office in Beverly Hills ahead of the Academy Awards. According to the The New York Times, Dr. Colbert's calendar in the month leading up to the Oscars "was already booked solid with 75 appointments...even though his 30-minute Triad Medical facial, which features microdermabrasion, laser toning and chemical peeling, starts at $800 a session." He's also making home visits on request.

"Los Angeles is fully maxed out and fully solvent," Ruth Hilton, founder of Hilton Media Group, tells Sky News, which notes that the Oscars "supports the rest of the economy for the rest of the year."

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