Billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker spent more than $10 million this past weekend when he married his fiancée, Alexandra Lenas, in a lavish Big Sur, Calif., wedding. Parker’s fantasy extravaganza was so over-the-top that the Napster co-founder was fined $2.5 million by the California Coastal Commission for building a large movie-set-like wedding site in an ecologically sensitive area without proper permits.
According to the Associated Press, the commission learned about the construction at a closed campground owned by Ventana Inn & Spa after a county investigation spurred by neighbor complaints.
When staff inspected, they found the temporary structures had already been built, but they allowed the wedding to proceed anyway.
As not to ruin the spirit of the weekend, the commission started negotiating a settlement with Parker and his representatives instead of shutting the event down.
"Mr. Parker has been extremely cooperative and actively involved in working with coastal commission staff to reach this resolution, which both addresses our Coastal Act concerns and will result in greater coastal access and conservation in the Big Sur and Monterey Peninsula areas," Charles Lester, the commission's executive director, said in a statement.
As a part of the agreement, Parker will also apply his technology and marketing expertise to help raise awareness by creating a public education video or create a mobile app aimed at helping to identify areas where the public can access the coast.
“We always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on Earth,” Parker said in a statement. “In continuing my foundations mission, we are excited to support these important conservation-related projects for and with the local community.”
Money from the agreement may be used to purchase public easements and hiking trails in the Big Sur area and as grants for nonprofits doing conservation projects.
The commission will vote on the agreement at its next meeting scheduled June 14.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.