Hillman to be site of celebrity eco-lodge

HILLMAN – Celebrities soon may be staying in northern Michigan at a special lodge outside of Hillman, thanks to Celebrity Black Card, LLC of Los Angeles. The company is working to construct a celebrity eco lodge, the first of its kind, near Hillman, to invite celebrities to stay free of charge in exchange for tweets, Instagram photos and other social media posts to promote responsible construction and an outdoor lifestyle.

“People aren’t going outside anymore,” CEO Bob Olejar said. “This is one of our passion projects. We want to use the power of celebrities to do something good and evoke lifestyle changes in people to get them outside and doing something.”

The lodge is expected to be a 1,000-1,500 square foot showcase home featuring several eco-friendly building elements. It also will have a barn with recreational vehicles and outdoor merchandise to promote the outdoor lifestyle through various activities available in northern Michigan.

“Hillman is very central to a lot of the trail systems in the area,” Olejar said. “There are many different kinds of wildlife and outdoor activities available in all seasons.”

The purpose of the project is to use the power of celebrity social media posts to influence millions toward eco-friendly construction and an active outdoor lifestyle. Lists of eco material sponsors and outdoor lifestyle sponsors will be provided when construction begins to promote these sponsors.

The lodge is built completely from material and monitory donations to complete some of the projects that aren’t donated, such as digging a well or installing a septic tank. Depending on donations and project planning, construction will either start in the fall of this year, or spring of 2015.

“We are always looking to try to go local for our sponsors,” Olejar said. “We’re working with a lot of experts and reused material to get as eco-friendly as we can get.”

Several states were evaluated for the location of the lodge, and the final decision was to locate in Hillman, due to a variety of factors including local outdoor activities, wildlife, seasonal changes, cultural tourism and government/community support.

“We evaluated places based on if there was enough to do around the area,” Olejar said. “We were looking at several different states with seasons and activities. We called local governments and tourism boards to get lists of the things to do around the area, and after learning the different activities, decided to go with Michigan.”

Celebrity Black Card was founded in 2011, and is a direct celebrity product placement company working with hundreds of brands and celebrities in Los Angeles. The company is currently launching a new mobile application to allow celebrities direct access to brands for promotional items. To donate to the Celebrity Eco Lodge, or learn more about this project, contact Olejar at ecolodge@celebrityblackcard.com.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.