“You know I don’t do interviews,” Phil Anschutz told Forbes. “But I’m not averse if I can see the practicality.”

That “practicality” led to an extensive interview with Forbes reporter Christopher Heiman that appeared in the business publication’s Oct. 25 issue. Most of it covers familiar ground, but there are a few interesting highlights.

  • Anschutz first visited The Broadmoor hotel with his parents at age 5. Five years later, sitting the corner of the bar, he told his father that he was gong to buy the hotel. His father was skeptical.
  • As we all know, Anschutz bought the hotel 60 years later. And this June, he doubled down on his bet on historic hotels, buying out his partners in Georgia’s Sea Island Resort for an estimated $300 million.
  • Anschutz pursued The Broadmoor for years, offering to buy it from the El Pomar Foundation in the 1980s and from the Gaylord family after they acquired it in 1988.
  • The two historic resort properties have been combined into a single ownership structure, described by Forbes as a “100-year family trust that will ease the passing down of the resorts from one Anschutz generation to the next, with directions that its trustees must always shore up what he calls the ‘four pillars’ of history, tradition, service and excellence.”
  • According to Forbes, Anschutz spent about $900 million to buy and restore the two hotels. From now on, he emphasized, it’s up to the managers to make money while living up to the standards that guests expect.
  • Did Anschutz look at these two hotels as a cold-blooded investor, or did he channel his inner 10-year-old self? Probably both.

“Frankly, there are better things for me to invest in than these hotels,” he told Forbes. “Stewards are really needed for these kind of properties, instead of investors.”

But sentiment only goes so far with a guy who turned his dad’s floundering oil company into an $11.4 billion fortune. Just as he acquired a vast collection of 19th century Western art in the 1960s and 1970s, when the genre was under-appreciated and underpriced, Anschutz may have acquired his hotels at the bottom of the market.

But if he did, none of us will be around 100 years hence to appreciate his foresight.

Click here to read the entire article.

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