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Longtime Hamptons locals say out-of-control spending is ruining upscale enclave as prices skyrocket

Longtime Hamptonites are complaining about the uptick in prices at the vacation hotspot and blame a new crowd of wealthy individuals for the rising costs.

Locals claim the recent wave of rich residents is 'ruining the Hamptons,' citing an increase in the cost of housing, dining and transportation.

'There's so much money now it's nauseating. I'm a one-percenter. But I bear no resemblance to these people,' one woman, who bought her Amagansett home in 1991, told Vanity Fair.

'Everyone with money is here. If I weren't here already, I wouldn't come now. The conspicuous consumption is just gross.' 

Hamptonites are complaining about the uptick in prices at the vacation hotspot and blame a new crowd of wealthy individuals for rising costs (Pictured: Duryea's restaurant in Montauk)

1-percenters claim the new wave of rich individuals are 'ruining the Hamptons,' citing an increase in housing, dining and transportation (Pictured: Arbor Montauk)

The woman shared how each day she would walk by a home allegedly belonging to a hedge fund manager to find a crew planting fully grown trees at a cost of $50-100,000 per day.

The Amagansett resident said this summer she has had to 'work at relaxing'.

'[The Hamptons is] a different place now,' she claimed. 'It's the age of entitlement.'

Another Hamptonite, Heidi Wald, said it's not uncommon to find large bills strewn across the beaches.

'I looked down, as I'm always looking for sea glass and there was a perfect crisp $50 bill on the shore. I thought, 'Only in the Hamptons,'' Wald told the magazine.

Kathryn Kellinger and her husband, Lee Hanson, who is the chef and co-owner of Manhattan's Frenchette restaurant, say the housing prices in the area have 'gotten ridiculous' lately.

The couple began visiting the Hamptons in 1998, renting until they could afford to purchase a place of their own. They argued that wouldn't have been able to do that with current prices.

'We were five late 20-something friends who rented year after year until we could buy, by Hamptons standards, a reasonably priced house of our own,' Kellinger said. 'A freelance writer and young cook couldn't do that today.' 

The price hikes are also evidenced in leisurely activities.

One 25-year-old vacationer said she and about 30 others each contributed $3,000 to rent a home in Montauk for a month, however she notes that the price they paid for accommodations is nothing compared to what they're spending to go out.

Vacationers say going out to eat is more expensive than in previous summers. One even said she paid $88 for a lobster Cobb salad at Montauk hotspot Duryea's (pictured)

Another claimed her friends went out for a night and had a bar tab of $7,000 (File photo of Lulu Kitchen and Bar)

Residents are also reporting a rise in real estate costs. One couple claimed they wouldn't be able to afford to buy in the Hamptons if they were house hunting in the current market

'Tables are absurd,' she said. 'I've had friends who have ended the night with $7,000 bar bills.'

She also cited Uber rides costing $60 to go one mile and spending $88 on a lobster Cobb salad at Duryea's, an upscale dining hotspot in Montauk.

Another woman echoed the 25-year-old's claim, saying meal prices are much higher than last year.

'The bill was $300 for four people, and we didn't have any alcohol,' she explained. 'We had two iced teas, a frisée salad, Caesar salads with chicken, and some oysters.' 

Some residents said the impacts of the coronavirus quarantine may have contributed to the rising prices. Others blame former president Donald Trump's tax cuts for 'making the wealthy even wealthier over the past four years'.

These complaints come as businesses in the Hamptons face mass labor shortages. 

The combination of soaring local rental prices, the ban on temporary work visas and the fact that many hospitality workers are not keen to rush back to their grueling, low paid jobs after generous COVID-19 boosted unemployment, has left many Hamptonites without paid help for the first time.

Inventory of available homes throughout the Hamptons fell in the first quarter of the year as real estate sales and prices surged making it difficult for summer workers to find rentals, which ultimately left many establishments shorthanded for the season.

The labor shortage has made it almost impossible for residents in need of an electrician, plumber, or gardener. It has also affected their beauty regimes, as salons struggle to find enough staff to meet the staggering demand. 

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