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Beverly Hills' top-hatted tourist ambassador is laid off

February 19, 2011 |  7:01 pm

Beverly Hills ambassador

Talk about tough budget cuts. It's gotten so bad that Beverly Hills' visitors bureau has laid off one of its most famous employees. The TImes' Hugo Martin reports:

Even on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, one of the world's most expensive stretches of commercial real estate, the nation's economic woes have claimed a longtime employee.

Because of budget problems, the city's visitors bureau has laid off its official ambassador, who has welcomed hundreds of tourists and visitors on Rodeo Drive for the last 11 years. Gregg Donovan, 51, the top-hat-wearing former hotel concierge, got his walking papers last month.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Gregg Donovan welcomes tourists to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, before he was let go. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press