In Pretty Woman (1990), Richard Gere portrays businessman Edward Lewis who spends a week enjoying a hooker, fine dining, a luxury hotel and a limo. If that’s your dream business trip, it’s going to cost you. How much would a Pretty Woman style trip cost now and in 1990?
Here is our complete trip breakdown in today’s dollars first. This analysis is focused on creating a Pretty Woman inspired trip, as if you were to pay to have the same experiences. Edward mentions that he only buys the best many times throughout the film. The best in this instance is $196,746 in 2016 dollars:
Edward borrows a Lotus Esprit from his lawyer for the first two days of his trip. An exotic car rental in Los Angeles costs around $2,000 a day, putting the car at $4,000. Edward continues his trip via limo the rest of the week. The limo is provided by the hotel, at no additional cost for booking the penthouse suite.
In fairness, Edward buys just one hooker, Vivian Ward played by Julia Roberts. He offers her $300 for the first night and $3,000 for the week. It’s not clear if he paid her $3,300 or $3,000 in total. We will use $3,300 for our estimate but that’s in 1990 dollars. In 2016, the same offer will be an equivalent of $5,985.
The Regent Beverly Wilshire is now the Beverly Wilshire (a Four Seasons hotel). The Penthouse suite in the movie is real and is one of the most expensive suites in the world with a starting price of $25,000 a night. A seven day trip typically has six nights, putting the stay around $150,000. As it did back in 1990, limo serviced is still included.
The couple had most meals via room service. In the first breakfast scene, Edward mentions that he ordered everything on the menu because he was unsure of what Vivian liked. Based on the current breakfast menu, that would cost around $1,000. We estimate the remaining room service meals, including the bottle of Moet champagne and strawberries the first night, to be around $3,000.
There were two meals out, the night out at Voltaire (which is really the Cicada Restaurant) and a presumed meal before the opera in San Francisco. All dining combined, we estimate $5,000 in total.
Private Jet & Opera
A private jet from LAX to SFO roundtrip would cost around $6,000. A box seat at the SF Opera would cost $381 per seat, $762 total.
Shopping on Rodeo Drive isn’t what it used to be, but is still very pricey. I had to pull in an expert, my girlfriend, for an assist on this one. A conservative estimate is $25,000. Of course, it is almost impossible to tell for sure how much she spent.
Total trip taken in 2016 = $196,746
Total trip if taken in 1990 = $108,493
This trip is out of reach for most, although we could have easily written a budget-conscious version. Somehow it wouldn’t be the same if Edward were staying at the Holiday Inn Express LAX. The story would be much darker if Edward weren’t rich.
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