Normally, a 11% jump in one year would be nothing to laugh at. But this year it actually is. That’s because the S&P 500 index rose 16.2% in that same period. As a group, the Vegas Nine would have done better by throwing it all in a big Vanguard mutual fund and spending the year on a beach. Hell, you might have done better than they did in your own IRA or 401(k).
Sheldon Adelson, the 84-year-old casino tycoon whose family also owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state’s largest newspaper, retains by far the title of richest man in Las Vegas (and Nevada). He remains No. 14 on the Forbes list, with a net worth of $35.4 billion, up $3.6 billion from last year.
Here are the others:
—Nancy Walton Laurie, of the Wal-Mart Waltons (Sam was her uncle), age 66, the richest woman in the Las Vegas area, rose two clicks to No. 122 with a net worth of $4.9 billion, up $500 million.
—Andrew Cherng and Peggy Cherng, who founded Panda Express, jumped eight spots to No. 226. They’re now worth $3.3 billion, up from $2.9 billion.
—Steve Wynn, 75, another casino mogul, dropped two notches to No. 248 even though his net worth rose from $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion.
—Phillip Ruffin, 82, who co-owns the Trump International here with the President of the United States and separately owns the Treasure Island Resort and Casino, fell a stunning 41 spots to No. 315. Still, his net worth edged up from $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion.
—Elaine Wynn, 75, ex-wife (twice!) of Steve Wynn (see above), 74, rose five clicks to No. 356. Her net worth was put at $2.3 billion, up from $1.9 billion.
—Frank Fertitta III, 54, and brother Lorenzo Fertitta, 48, also casino guys, came in tied at No. 388, down from a tie for No. 361 last year. Forbes put their net worth at $2 billion each, up from $1.9 billion.
The other Nevadan on the Rich List is David Duffield, 77, No. 65 on the Forbes list with a net worth of $7.5 billion, up from No. 71 and $6.7 billion last year. He co-founded business software firm Workday. He lives in Incline Village on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
The entire Forbes 400 is worth $2.7 trillion (up from $2.4 trillion a year ago), of which Las Vegas Nine amounts to just 2%. Indeed, their stash totals less than either of the one-two Forbes 400 punch in Seattle, where I lived before becoming New To Las Vegas, of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
Remember, you might have done better in your personal investing than did the Las Vegas Nine. They just have a lot more zeros behind their names to start with.
UPDATE ON OCTOBER 18: Today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, which is owned by Adelson’s family, says in the first paragraph of its story that eight Las Vegas area residents are on the Forbes 400 list. I wrote nine. I’d say somebody has a counting problem.
Follow William P. Barrett’s work on Twitter by clicking here.