Tuesday 16 January 2018

Orla Healy: Beach playground is first port of call for US tycoons

There's good money in catering to the rich and famous in this ritzy resort, writes Orla Healy from East Hampton, NY

Jennifer Oz LeRoy, the granddaughter of film producer-director Mervyn LeRoy
Jennifer Oz LeRoy, the granddaughter of film producer-director Mervyn LeRoy
The Hamptons, Long Island

Orla Healy

The ground mist that had been hovering over the east end of Long Island most of last week finally lifted late afternoon on Friday. In spite of the rain and the late hour the sudden break in the fog that had halted work on the hedge-fund mansions that line this mega-wealthy enclave appeared to signal a whistle-call for what locals like to call "the parade of trade".

A flurry of pick-up trucks packed with Mexican day labourers clutching leaf-blowers created deafening noise as it zipped down the elegant, leafy East Hampton back street of Clover Leaf Lane. None stopped at No 1, the shingled $1.7m luxury house former Goldman Sachs executive Jason Lee occupied for the month of August 2013. On the market to rent this August for $38,000 - the going rate for a house to call your own within stumbling distance of East Hampton town - this desirable four-bed with heated pool stands to lose some of its sparkle in the wake of the publicity sparked last week when Lee went on trial to face charges for the rape of a then-20-year-old Irish student in one of the property's three bathrooms.

Students from all over the world flood the Hamptons each summer to take service industry jobs catering to the rich and sometimes the famous, the titans of industry and all those who come here because they aspire to be one or the other One of the more traditional employers of Irish students in this area is Gurney's Hotel, in nearby Montauk, It used to be the best-knowmn employer of Irish J1 visa holders. But that culrture has changed and there was little discussion of the case on the premises when I called. The resort is now under the leadership of Jennifer Oz LeRoy, the granddaughter of film producer-director Mervyn LeRoy.

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