The world’s best hotels didn’t just spring up from nowhere or create themselves. They were established and are run by some of the world’s most powerful individuals who were able to expand their establishment around the world. These hotels can now be found scattered across the world in different continents, some of which are franchise businesses. Below are the world’s richest hotel magnates:
- Sheldon Adelson: With a net worth of $40.7 billion, he is currently ranked as Forbes’ 21st billionaire. Adelson accumulated his wealth originally from COMDEX, a computer exposition a computer trade show in the ’80s and ’90s and one of the largest trade shows in the world, held from 1979 to 2003. He used his earnings to buy Las Vegas’ Sands Hotel and Casino in 1988 and later built the Sands Expo and Convention Center in 1989. In 2008 an expansion project for the center was announced which will include a second expo building with two million square feet of space.
- William Barron Hilton: The owner of the well-known and popular Hilton brand also has $4.4 billion to his name. Born into the already established international Hilton hotel chain he began his career as a humble elevator operator at the El Paso Hilton and became the president of the company less than 15 years later. He succeeded in making his family’s company the third largest lodging business in the world by the late 1990s which is now currently worth $8.7 billion.
- Donald Trump: The US president who is currently worth more than $3 billion set his sights in the hotel industry when he reopened New York’s Commodore Hotel as the Grand Hyatt New York in 1980. He continued to build hotels in the US and internationally most of which bear his name. The Trump World Tower, which is a 72-story residential skyscraper located across from the United Nations Headquarters, was completed in 2001, and he continues to develop more hotel projects around the world.
- Ty Warner: He acquired much of his current wealth from the real estate industry and has an estimated net worth of $2.7 million. He used his substantial earnings from Beanie Baby which was making about $700 million a year in profits in the 1990s to invest in hotels, purchasing the Four Seasons Hotel in New York for $275 million. The hotel’s Ty Warner Penthouse Suite costs an incredible $41,836 each night, making it one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. He now owns hotels and resorts in California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Florida.
- Phillip Ruffin: The hotel mogul has a net worth of $2.6 billion having started his career in the convenience store industry. He was able to open a chain of 60 stores and used the proceeds from these convenience stores to purchase a Marriott hotel in Wichita. In the mid-1990s, he leased his convenience stores and bought more hotels as well as the Crystal Palace casino resort in the Bahamas. His hotel division currently operates 13 hotels.
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