Tilman J. Fertitta

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From Tilman Fertitta

Tilman Fertitta

Innovative Visionary

Tilman J. Fertitta, a Houston native, is an accomplished businessman and recognized as a world leader in the dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming industries and is referred to by Forbes as “the world’s richest restaurateur.” Fertitta is the sole owner of Fertitta Entertainment which owns the restaurant giant Landry’s, the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels, and the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

Through his restaurant and hospitality company Landry’s, Fertitta owns more than 600 properties in 36 states and in over 15 countries. He is also one of the largest employers in the nation with more than 50,000 employees. His restaurants include a signature collection of eateries, as well as more than 60 different restaurant brands and award-winning concepts. The Signature Group includes some of the world’s premier fine dining concepts, such as Mastro’s Steakhouse and Ocean Club, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s Grille, J. Gilbert’s, Palm, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, Brenner’s Steakhouse, Grotto, La Griglia and Willie G’s, while the multi-unit restaurant brands include such well-known favorites as Chart House, Landry’s Seafood House, Rainforest Cafe, Saltgrass Steak House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Dos Caminos, Bill’s Bar & Burger, Joe's Crab Shack and McCormick & Schmick’s. Fertitta also owns Restaurant’s Unlimited with thirteen popular concepts including Portland City Grill, Kincaid’s, Simon and Seaford’s, and Henry’s Tavern. Fertitta also owns Catch Hospitality which has become a nationwide phenomenon with popular locations in Los Angeles, New York, Aspen, and Las Vegas.

He also owns and operates hospitality and entertainment venues, including the iconic Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel brand, currently with five locations throughout the United States, including Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Biloxi, Mississippi and Lake Charles, Louisiana. In an effort to expand his gaming empire, in December 2022 Fertitta acquired Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Fertitta also launched into the online internet gaming world in the state of New Jersey with GoldenNuggetCasino.com and has been recognized as the top iGaming operator in the country, receiving the top iGaming operator of the year award for four consecutive years, he rapidly expanded into other states across the US. Just recently, he merged Golden Nugget Online Gaming into DraftKings and remains one of DraftKings largest shareholders.

In November 2022, Fertitta acquired the 30-acre, luxury, oceanfront property Montage Laguna Beach Resort Hotel, an award-winning Forbes Triple Five-Star hotel, and owns Texas’s only Forbes Five-Star Hotel and Spa, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston. Throughout the Houston and Galveston areas, he owns the award-winning San Luis Resort, The Westin Houston Downtown, and several other award-winning regional hotels. His entertainment destinations include the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, The Kemah Boardwalk, Downtown Aquarium Denver and Houston, and Tower of The Americas in San Antonio which are all featured on the Forbes, Travel Channel, and USA Today’s top five lists of attractions.

Fertitta purchased the NBA’s Houston Rockets for a record $2.2 Billion and is the sole owner of the team. During the first year as an NBA owner, the Houston Rockets advanced to the Western Conference Finals, and set a record for the Most Wins in Franchise History.

An influential business figure, Fertitta starred in his own TV show on CNBC called Billion Dollar Buyer. Fertitta first debuted on the Forbes 400 list in 2012 and is frequently featured in the nation’s top financial and industry publications. He is also a frequent guest of prominent national business and sports programs on networks like CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, ESPN, and Fox. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in the restaurant, gaming, entertainment, and hospitality industries and released his first business book “Shut up and Listen” with HarperCollins Publishing in September 2019, which skyrocketed to New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly best sellers’ lists, as well as being listed as the #1 Business Book for new releases on Amazon within the first week.

Fertitta’s many personal honors include – the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young and induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame as the second youngest inductee, Amusement Today’s Person of the Year, Casino Journal’s Executive of the Year and is one of Restaurant News’ top executives almost yearly. In honor of his contributions to the travel and tourism industry in Texas, Fertitta was the recipient of the Texas Travel Industry Association’s Heritage Award, Restaurateur of the Year by the Greater Houston Restaurant Association and named Executive of the Year by the Houston Sports Authority.

Fertitta believes in the importance of giving back to the community and devotes a substantial amount of time to civic service and charitable organizations. He is currently serving his ninth year as Chairman of the Board of Regents at the University of Houston. In May 2022, Fertitta gave $50 million to the University of Houston College of Medicine naming the school the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, bringing a new era of innovation and equitable health care to Houstonians and residents throughout Texas. In 2016, Fertitta contributed $20 million dollars to fund the University of Houston Basketball team's arena to be named “Fertitta Center,” which opened in December 2018. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the Board – of Houston Children’s Charity and Chairman of the Board – of Houston Police Foundation. As a long-time supporter of the Houston Police Department, Fertitta donated $2.5 million in 2019 to build The Tilman Fertitta Family Tactical Training Center helping the city’s officers and recruits with state-of-the-art technology and realistic, scenario-based training. He is on the Executive Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which is one of the nation's largest charitable organizations. In 1991 Fertitta married Paige Farwell with whom he has four children, a daughter, and three sons all of whom are involved in the family business. Today, Fertitta is married to Houston attorney, Lauren Ware.

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