Privacy does have a price: $3 Million plus $37,500/year
by Eugenia Levenson, FORTUNE Magazine

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Tim Blixseth is, you might say, a bit fanatical about privacy. The timber baron and self-made billionaire flies on a private jet. He skis on a private mountain at the Yellowstone Club, a members-only retreat in Montana he opened six years ago. Now he's hoping to round up a few hundred other globetrotters (with leisure time to spare) to inaugurate his Yellowstone Club World.

The "club" will actually be a string of properties--including a 13th-century chateau outside Paris, a private island off Turks and Caicos, and a golf resort near St. Andrews--that will have the amenities of a luxe hotel with (you guessed it) the privacy of a well-heeled friend's estate. Locations in Tahiti and Namibia may be next, says Blixseth.

Ready to pack your bags? Only 150 fellow travelers, plus current Yellowstone Club members who want to upgrade, will get the chance. In July, Blixseth will fill the first 25 spots with jet setters willing to pay annual dues of $37,500, a few hundred dollars for every night they spend at a property, plus an initiation fee starting at $3 million (refundable if you drop out). We caught up with Blixseth in L.A., where he was tucked away at the Beverly Hills Hotel's Bungalow 5.

Days on the road

In the past 12 months, more than 200 days.

Favorite way to fly

In my Gulfstream G550. It's got range--you can go from L.A. direct to Paris with lots of fuel left over--and wireless Internet. I've had it a year and a half. Before that I was flying in a G4, which I still have.

Choice destination

Monaco is a favorite spot. We stay at the Hotel de Paris. It's the epicenter of Monte Carlo, right in the little cul-de-sac where all the casinos are.

Signature drink

A great chardonnay: Lewis, Kistler, or Peter Michael. Great chardonnay is a travel necessity.

Finest dining

I love Spago in Beverly Hills. I have a favorite Italian restaurant in New York, Fresco on 52nd Street.

Supreme slopes

I'm spoiled because Yellowstone Club in Montana is the only place in the world to ski with no crowds, no lift lines, no lift tickets. When you get used to no lift lines, it's pretty hard to go someplace else. But if I wasn't skiing at Yellowstone Club, I'd probably be skiing in Aspen.

Must have

My WaveRunner, out on the ocean off the Mexico coast or, in the summer, in Saint-Tropez and Monaco. I love looking at the whales, turtles, and dolphins.

Dream retirement

I highly recommend not retiring. Top of page