If you were here in the Hamptons on Wednesday and Thursday last week, you could not help but get caught up in the disruption caused by the arrival and, later, the departure, of a very important person who came out here for those two days. Police were everywhere. The main highway was blocked off for hours in both directions. Businesses had to close. Events were canceled. People were advised to stay home. And helicopters hovered overhead as the entourage went through all the red lights.
It was never said by those in charge who it was that came out here. But rumors leaked out. One of them said it was Kamala Harris, the vice president, here either for a private visit or for a fundraiser. Eventually, the media was able to report that the hamlet of Water Mill, with its roads swept clean of traffic, was the destination, whatever it was. Armed soldiers, detectives and security people were seen to have surrounded one particular 10-acre property near the ocean to protect who it was. It probably was Kamala Harris.
Or was it?
As it has turned out, Dan’s Papers has exclusively learned that it was not Kamala Harris. It was a private person whose name will never be known. This person, at great expense, became the first customer of a new secret elite travel firm that has gone into business here in the Hamptons. Called Principal Journeys LLC, it offers the most comfortable, luxurious and stress-free way to get to the Hamptons. The customer’s name is never revealed. And for that person, and his or her family, the roads are cleared and the way opened so that the usual horror show of battling the traffic completely ceases to exist.
Of course, it is enormously expensive. But for those who can afford it, this will become the preferred way to get out to the Hamptons every weekend. With Principal, you get the best.
I spoke to Charles Fin Sullon, the chief executive of Princpal Journeys LLC, who agreed to meet with me at midnight in an underground garage here in the Hamptons that I am not at liberty to disclose.
“Yes, it’s true,” Sullen told me. “Principal is not for everyone.”
“Exactly how does it work?” I asked.
“Once you have paid the advance to secure our services, we contact the state police, the National Guard, the local police departments, the Army, the fire departments, the bomb squads, the helicopter and limousine companies and the private jet charter companies, and everyone else and let them know there will be an important person coming to the Hamptons at such and such a time on such and such a day. Then we swing into action. Wherever you are, a limousine will pick up you and your immediate family and take you to the nearest airport. There, your charter will arrive to pick you up.”
“Like JFK? Or LaGuardia?”
“Could be the airstrip at Provincetown, Massachusetts. It’s wherever you say.”
“We fly you in to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton. You and your party will be provided dark glasses and scarves to disembark into one of the nine black limousines we will have lined up there right on the runway.”
“Why the disguise?”
“The media will be there. We will have tipped them off. But they will be kept at a distance. And they will be unable to identify you. Keep in mind the Sunrise Highway and the Montauk Highway will have been completely cleared of all traffic as soon as your private plane begins to circle Gabreski.”
“I see your point.”
“We will provide leaks to the media. It could be Vladimir Putin. Or President Xi of China. Anyone to throw them off the trail.”
“Can the client select this person?”
“They can, of course. But only if they get Principal’s approval. This is a very strict operation. We want nothing to go wrong.”
“Will the limousines have flags on their fenders?”
“Yes. But the flags will not be identifiable for any known country. It will be a generic design. Unknowable.”
“What happens then?”
“The motorcade moves swiftly out of the airport and down the highway toward your home. You will see the road, swept free of cars, guarded along the way. We will have 2,000 people hired who will stand by the side of the road at certain points offering applause, flowers and cheers in some unidentifiable foreign language as you go by. You can either wave and smile at them or ignore them. Up to you.”
“How much does all this cost?”
“If you have to ask, you can’t afford it, as the phrase goes. Let’s just say it’s upwards of $700,000.”
“No. Each way. It’s possible to take this just heading into the Hamptons. Or just heading out of the Hamptons, though that sounds like it is just plain silly.”
“Are there are additional costs?”
“We provide caviar, champagne, lobster rolls and Wagyu filet mignon on the flight out. But you might want your own chef flown to your departure airport to cook for you on your flight. That would be an extra. We can also provide entertainment on the flight. Madonna is available, for example. Or Beyonce. It’s extra. Or you might want an 18-limousine entourage instead of just nine. Extra.”
“I get it. But won’t the public know it’s us when you take us to our home?”
“No. It will be made public that either you are hosting this special guest, or, if you prefer, that you are off in Paris and have made your home available for this special guest.”
“You’ve thought of everything.”
“Yes, we have. And you should let your readers know that we have already booked two more clients between now and Labor Day. Also, if any of your readers are interested in engaging us, they should go to our website and click on the box that says ‘engagement.’ It is not necessary for you to fill out contact information. We have special software that can identify you when you click on that box. You will be contacted by receiving a special delivery packet before the end of the day in your mailbox at home. Sender will appear as ‘Special Lawn Furniture.’ That’s us.”
“Thank you, Mr. Sullon.”
“Not my real name, of course. And thank you.”