Celebrities rake in plenty of free swag | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Celebrities rake in plenty of free swag

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Korbel representative Tim Laird makes the "Long Drive," a drink that's hit the celebrity golf scene.

Sure, they say money and prestige can’t buy happiness. But if you’re a player at the American Century Championship, you can score the perks as a participant at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course this week.

By the time the tournament ends Sunday, cigar-toting, pen-wielding celebrities from the sports and entertainment world will leave with pieces of Tahoe and products from a slew of vendors.

The idea is to get the product out there and add to the celebrity experience.

Tournament Director Michael Millthorpe admitted it’s ironic the ones who have the most resources to pay for the swag get it handed to them freely.

“Isn’t that life?” he said.

Still, it’s all in fun and part of the prestige that goes hand in hand with fame.

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe has made a business out of throwing out the red carpet as the host hotel. In its second year of that role, the casino has set aside a VIP room, set up tables and found ways to shuffle around the celebrities without having them inundated by fans. But sometimes that can’t be avoided, as expected this weekend. Many celebrities are expected at the John Mellencamp concert, and tickets are still on sale.

“Once they get to Lake Tahoe. We make sure they have the best time of any golf tournament,” Harrah’s spokesman John Packer said.

And that’s just the treatment at the casino. The red carpet turns to green where they play during the day.

And location, location, location. Massage therapist Matt Friedlander has enjoyed a prime location this year in moving his chair massage in front of the driving range. In previous years, his perk was placed to the side in a less visible spot.

Korbel representatives insist they have other ways of easing tension as well.

Along with handing out splits of champagne, the company invented a special drink for Lake Tahoe to commemorate its dominant color.

Korbel will begin to hand out the “Long Drive” drink on the golf course to complement the food tent today. It features champagne, pineapple juice, Blue Curacao and is served with a pineapple wedge.

“Champagne and celebration go hand in hand,” President Gary Heck said.

The company made a splash at the Kentucky Derby with its special version of a mint julep.

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