Sheldon Adelson: $26.5 Billion
Talk about a self-made billionaire, Sheldon Adelson is the perfect example. Sheldon is the son of a cab driver in Boston who borrowed $200 from his uncle when he was 12 years old. He sold newspapers to the public. Sheldon’s success only blossomed from here. He made his first fortune by creating a computer technology trade show in the 80’s named Comdex. He rented space in convention centers for as little as $0.15 per square foot and then leased it to exhibitors for $40.00 per square foot, a tidy profit margin of 70%. Japan’s Softbank purchased Comdex from Sheldon for $862 million in 1995. This provided Sheldon with some investment capital to work with.
Sheldon Adelson worked out a deal on the old Sands Casino in Las Vegas. He snatched it up for a mere $128 million. He didn’t want to remodel the old building so he tore it down and built a brand new casino costing $1.5 billion. This became the gorgeous Venetian Casino Resort. Sheldon also built the Sands Convention Center hosting 1.2 million square feet. Sheldon was a mastermind and changed the way Vegas did business by enticing conventioneers to Vegas during the week in an effort to take the emphasis off of gambling. He rented beautiful suites for $250 a night, introduced high-end retail shops and celebrity chef restaurants.
He was mocked by some in the industry.
“I loved being the outsider. I didn’t care what those guys said,” says Sheldon.
Sheldon Adelson went public with Sands in December 2004. His venture capital increased tremendously. Now it’s time to start some new projects. Sheldon then constructed the $1.8 billion resort, Palazzo, adjacent to his rival Steve Wynn and Wynn Las Vegas.
Sheldon moved on to the his global plan – Asia. In May 2004 Sheldon opened the Sands Macau Casino costing $265 million and recovered the entire cost in 12 months. Simply amazing! Construction started on the Cotai Strip, islands off the coast of China, entailing 7 hotel casinos on 2 of Macau’s islands. This is a huge project running slightly over $6 billion. The cornerstone of this project was a $1.8 billion Venetian Macau. Sheldon shifted to Singapore and was awarded a gaming license. The plans for the $3.5 billion Marina Bay Sands on 51 lush acres included a spectacular skyline view.
Sheldon Adelson – turned $200 into $26.5 billion in 25 years. Brilliant!!!