Survey: Mega-rich ready to spend, spend, spend |

Survey: Mega-rich ready to spend, spend, spend

Window shoppers glance through the window of Louis Vuitton on Mill Street on Friday. A recent survey by the magazine Elite Traveler says the ultra-wealthy plan to spend more on expensive gifts this holiday season. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

Mega-rich people – like many of the visitors to Aspen – are apparently ready to go hog wild this holiday shopping season.A magazine called Elite Traveler claims that the so-called “elite affluent,” defined as people with a net worth of $10 million or greater, will increase spending on everything from booze to trips to resorts this year, according to a survey it performed with Prince & Associates.

“The survey of 511 elite affluent individuals … shows while many Americans are fearful of interest rate hikes and increases in energy prices, the uber-wealthy will be spending even more this holiday than last year,” Elite Traveler crowed in a news release. The magazine targets the mega-rich with distribution in places like charter jets and yachts.The super rich will spend an average of $54,600 over the holiday period on hotel and resort visits, up 32 percent. “Villa and ski house rentals” are expected to climb 27 percent to $61,700, the magazine said.And how is this for heavy partying: Spending on wine and spirits for entertaining is expected to be an average of $14,200, up 18 percent from last year.

If you’re on the shopping list of one of the uber-wealthy, count on a lavish gift. About 75 percent of those surveyed said spending on corporate gift-giving will hit $29,200 on average.The mega-wealthy are also more concerned with image this year. Spending on jewelry, for themselves or as gifts, is expected to rise 10 percent to $74,600 per person while spending on fashion accessories like shoes and handbags will leap 39 percent to $29,100, according to the survey.”These results show that the super rich are continuing to power the economy with mega-spending,” said Douglas Gollan, president and editor in chief of Elite Traveler, in a prepared statement sent to The Aspen Times after the newspaper ran an article about a private jet membership company advertising on chairlifts at the local ski areas.

Elite Traveler noted that spending on charities by the elite affluent will increase only 5 percent to an average of $62,100 this year. But the magazine had an excuse. Many of the “very rich” had already contributed to hurricane relief efforts this year, according to Elite Traveler.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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