Fantasizing about luxurious hotels and faraway resorts is one thing, but fantasizing about owning them is an entirely different concept altogether. Real estate is a high-stakes game that costs big, but, when done right, earns even bigger. And because we are constantly investigating the latest hotels around the globe, we couldn’t help but wonder who was the proverbial Oz behind the curtain at some of our favorite spots. Check out five men that are serious players on the hotel scene right now — and just how fat their wallets are.
Name: Ty Warner
He may have made his initial millions from his trendy, plush Beanie Babies, but Ty Warner transformed his self-named Ty Inc. corporation into a financial juggernaut with a hotel and resort empire that boasts bi-coastal properties in the US and in Mexico. Despite his rich-boy status, Warner likes to keep things low-key and rarely grants any public interviews — especially ironic since his original career aspiration was to be an actor.
Name: Sheldon Adelson
As the oldest on the list, 78-year-old Sheldon Adleson also happens to be the wealthiest. According to Forbes magazine, he is the 16th richest person in the world! His fortune can be attributed to the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, his resort development company that opens properties across the globe. What’s scary, though, is how often Adleson gets his hotels right: In the past three years, he’s accumulated $21 billion alone. Errr, call us?
Name: Donald Trump
When he’s not debating a run for president – or running his mouth about the President — Donald Trump spreads his billions all over the worlds of real estate and entertainment. In between filing for bankruptcy and a few high-profile divorces, The Donald and his Trump Organization operate hotels and resort casinos across the world, with the Trump Toronto just opening and an outpost in Scotland on the pipeline. And just because, “ya fired!”
Name: Neil Bluhm
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Properties Owned: The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, Rivers Casinos in Pennsylvania and Illinois
Midwest mogul Neil Bluhm rose to riches by gambling on casino investments as the Chairman of the Midwest Gaming and Entertainment Board, also while owning several within the area’s confines. Bluhm is also the co-founder of JMB Realty (which buys and sells both residential and corporate real estate) as well as and a celebrated art collector. Bluhm serves on the Board of Trustees for both the Chicago Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
Name: Yitzhak Tshuva
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Properties Owned: The Plaza Hotel
Israeli CEO Yitzhak Tshuva was a meager millionaire sitting at the head of Manhattan real estate development firm Elad Group until 2004, when the company purchased The Plaza Hotel from — you guessed it — Donald Trump. With commercial and residential buildings across the globe, The Plaza Hotel stands as his crown jewel that he snapped up for a mere $675 million. But this man isn’t all business — every year, Tshuva underwrites 400 college scholarships for Israeli citizens.