Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Holding?s holdings noted on Forbes list

Resort owner one of world?s billionaires

Express Staff Writer

Earl Holding

Sun Valley Resort and Sinclair Oil Co. owner Robert Earl Holding's estimated net worth of $5 billion landed him in 203rd place among the world's billionaires, according to a Forbes magazine report on March 5.

The 81-year-old Holding, who also owns Snowbasin ski area and the 395-unit Grand America Hotel, both in Utah, and three Little America resorts, has seen his fortune skyrocket over the last few years.

Since 2004, Forbes calculated, Holding's wealth has nearly quadrupled, rapidly increasing from $1.3 billion. This puts him in the top 20 percent of the 1,062 billionaires ranked by the business magazine.

Forbes stated in a previous report that Holding bought Sun Valley Resort for $12 million in 1977, a price tag less than some houses in the valley today. The resort is now estimated to be worth more than $300 million.

Once again representing Idaho on the list of the über-wealthy is 99-year-old potato tycoon John Richard Simplot, worth $3.8 billion as he nears the century mark.

Investment banker Herbert Allen, head of the New York City-based Allen & Co. and host of the annual July gathering of business and media power brokers in Sun Valley, was 605th on the list with a net worth of $2 billion.

For the first time in 13 years, Microsoft owner Bill Gates was not atop the list, losing his spot as the world's richest man to investor Warren Buffett and his $62 billion fortune.

Gates slipped to third with $58 billion, behind Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú.

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