Private jets descend on Sun Valley as titans of industry call for ‘billionaire summer camp’

Private jets descend on Sun Valley as titans of industry call for 'billionaire summer camp'

A fleet of private jets has descended on Idaho as one of the world’s premier business retreats begins at Sun Valley Lodge.

Often described as the ‘billionaire summer camp’, the annual Allen & Co summer conference brings together titans of industry from across the planet.

Among the moguls in attendance this year are Disney CEO Bob Iger, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and OpenAI founder Sam Altman.

The summit is one of the business events of the summer, where leaders from all industries come to discuss the state of their empire. This year, however, is expected to take a less celebratory tone with global economic struggles and rising inflation.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch attends with his sons James (right) and Lachlan (not pictured)

Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav is among the wealthiest people in the retreat

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman pictured addressing the media upon arrival at Sun Valley Lodge

Idaho’s Sun Valley Lodge hosts the world’s top business leaders each year

The conference at Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho is one of the most prestigious on the business calendar.

Private jets typically fly into Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport, about 15 miles from the Rizzi resort, where runways are known to be backlogged each year.

Guests are then escorted to the ritzy estate, where the picturesque scenery serves as the ideal backdrop to discuss their next billion-dollar business venture.

The richest in attendance this year is Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who recently topped a list of America’s highest-paid media executives.

According to research by Equilar Inc. cited by the LA Times, he earned a titanic $246 million in 2021 alone, while from 2018 to 2022 he earned more than $498 million.

A hot-button issue at the summit was a recent federal court ruling in favor of Activision Blizzard Inc. CEO Bobby Kotick, who helped sell his company to Microsoft for $69 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Both Kotick and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella are known to regularly attend the annual billionaire get-together.

The rolling Idaho mountains serve as the ideal backdrop for a luxury retreat

Disney CEO Bob Iger is pictured arriving at the estate on July 11, 2023

Stacey Bendet, a fashion designer and CEO of Alice + Olivier, wore a striking red and white dress as she took her place among business titans.

Paramount Global Chairwoman Shari Redstone was seen on site Tuesday

Sun Valley Lodge covers a sprawling estate with scenic views of Idaho

Activision Blizzard Inc. CEO Bobby Kotick entered the event on the back of a federal ruling to aid his company’s sale to Microsoft.

Fleets of private jets are expected to make their way to the small local airport in Hailey, Idaho and back up the runway again.

With some of the most powerful and influential people in the world in attendance, the conversations that take place at Sun Valley Lodge cut across many sectors.

One of the stories on the show this week came from Disney chief Bob Iger, who announced he will step down from his role in December 2024.

Notably, two of those being considered to replace him, Disney Parks’ Josh D’Maro and Disney Entertainment’s Dana Walden, are expected to appear this year.

Blockbuster Senate hearings between lawmakers on Tuesday and the PGA Tour are also expected to be on the minds of many in Idaho.

Allen & Co., the host of this week’s summit, was at the center of surprise negotiations that saw the PGA Tour agree to a proposed merger with LIV Golf, a new golf tour backed by the Saudi government, earlier this year.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is pictured arriving at the convention on Tuesday

The runways at the airport near Hailey, Idaho are known to be filled with private jets every year

The luxurious estate hosts the richest and most powerful businessmen from the fields of media, finance, technology and politics

Casey Wasserman, chairman of Wasserman Media Group, arrives at Sun Valley Lodge

Brian Grazer, film and television producer, speaks to the media as he arrives at the conference on July 11, 2023

The business titans seen on the site so far cover industries from technology and sports to finance and broadcasting.

Among those in attendance this year were Wasserman Media Group Chair Casey Wasserman and film producer Brian Grazer.

The conference began in 1982, and in its early days founder Herbert Allen — who co-founded Allen & Company with brother Charles — had to beg invitees to come.

But now, the Sun Valley Conference has developed a reputation for hosting high profile business deals, or at least as the site of the conversations that started them.

Previous deals in Sun Valley include Disney’s 1995 purchase of Capital Cities/ABC, Comcast’s 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal, Verizon’s 2015 purchase of AOL, and Jeff Bezos’ 2013 purchase of The Washington Post.

Other famous faces that have appeared in business farewells over the years include Mark Zuckerberg, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.


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