At the recent opening of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino is Biloxi, the emcee introduced "Mr. Tilman Fertitta" to the enthusiastic crowd. "That was great, except for the mister," Fertitta said in his "aw shucks" way. "I'm just Tilman to everybody."
Although he is firmly ensconced on the Forbes billionaires list as the 235th richest person in the United States with a net worth of $2.4 billion, Fertitta likes to think of himself as a regular guy — with a lot of expensive toys.
Unlike some billionaires who are reclusive and secretive, Fertitta likes to show off the fruits of this labor. When he flew a group of journalists to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the day to see the new hotel, we got a first-hand glimpse of the 56-year-old entrepreneur's good life.
The day began at Landry's private terminal near Hobby Airport where we boarded Fertitta's Gulfstream GV jet. It can carry 16 passengers in comfort on distances up to 6,500 miles.