MSU Alumnus Brings ‘Celebrity Eco Lodge’ to Northeast Michigan


Perhaps Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will find Michigan’s Celebrity Eco Lodge right up their alley?

Los Angeles-based Celebrity Black Card, a product placement company that leverages celebrity influence via social media posts, is bringing a special type of lodge to Hillman, west of Alpena, in time for New Year’s Eve.

“(The Celebrity Eco Lodge) will be free to celebrities and top producers or directors,” says Robert Olejar, a graduate of Michigan State University and CEO of Celebrity Black Card. “In order to stay there, all they have to do is post on social media about staying at the lodge and the different outdoor activities they’re doing. And by doing that, the general public can learn about eco-friendly building and living an outdoor lifestyle.”

The two-bedroom cabin, roughly 1,000 square feet, will be built largely from eco-friendly materials sourced and donated by companies and sponsors in the state. “As the celebs are driving people to learn about this lifestyle, they’re also driving them to our website, where we’ll list all of the different materials and outdoor (gear) that we’ve used at the lodge and the companies that have provided it for us,” Olejar says.

Olejar says the lodge is a “side project” for the company, which places products and uses celebrity endorsements to create buzz around a given brand. The lodge aims to use that celebrity power as a catalyst for getting people outside, living a more active lifestyle, instead of sitting in front of a TV or computer all day long.

“We were evaluating where we could get all four seasons and where there were lots of outdoor activities so (we weren’t just) putting people in the middle of nowhere and saying, ‘Here you go, have fun,’” says Olejar, noting that his company considered several states before ultimately settling on Hillman. “Michigan had everything we needed.”

Celebrity Black Card, working with the state of Michigan and local government departments, will work with businesses to tout a number of activities in the northeast, from kayaking and shipwreck exploration to elk viewing and wine tasting.