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|Net worth||US$2.4 billion (Sep 2011)|
|Net worth||US$2.4 billion (Sep 2011)|
Phillip G. Ruffin is an American businessman. His business interests lie largely in casinos, greyhound racing tracks, oil production, convenience stores, and real estate. Ruffin lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ruffin has been listed on the Forbes 400 list of the country's richest people multiple times, most recently at #215 in 2008 with a net worth of $2.1 billion. In the 2006 list, he was listed at #606 on the Forbes Magazine list of the world's billionaires, with a reported net worth of $1.3 billion. (This figure was before his 2007 record-setting sale of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.)
In 1972, Ruffin pioneered self-serve gasoline in Kansas, creating a chain of 60 convenience stores in the Midwest. In 1987, he then used cash from the convenience stores to build his first hotel, a Marriott in Wichita. His businesses also included oil distribution and one of the country's largest manufacturers of hand trucks.
In 1994, Ruffin leased his convenience stores to Total, using the money to purchase more hotels. Then, in 1995, Ruffin acquired the Crystal Place casino resort in the Bahamas. Mortgaging the casino, Ruffin then purchased the New Frontier Hotel and Casino.
Ruffin's reputation is one of shying away from press coverage and publicity, so many details of his life are not well cited. Ruffin has been married two times. On January 6, 2008 the then-72-year-old Ruffin married the then-26-year-old supermodel and Miss Ukraine 2004 title holder Oleksandra Nikolayenko. Ruffin has a total of 4 children.
Ruffin appeared on the 7th season of GSN's High Stakes Poker.
Ruffin is best known for his purchase of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, one of the Strip's venerable properties. When he bought the resort from Margaret Elardi and her family, it had been mired in a longtime, sometimes violent strike with the Culinary Workers Union, one of the most powerful unions in Las Vegas. Ruffin settled the strike very soon after his purchase in 1998. Soon after, the casino-hotel became known as the New Frontier.
Ruffin announced plans to demolish the New Frontier and replace it with a new resort to be called The Montreaux, but the development never got off the ground.
MGM Mirage sold Treasure Island Hotel and Casino to Phil Ruffin. The negotiated price was $600 million in cash and $175 million in secured notes. Ruffin estimates that to build a casino like Treasure Island from the ground up would cost $2.7 billion. The Treasure Island is about 700 yards from the site of his former casino, the New Frontier. In calendar year 2008, Treasure Island reported $376M in revenue (down from $431M in 2007) and $101M in EBITDA. Ruffin expressed his lack of concern about buying a casino in a down market, because the TI will have very little debt. Ruffin took complete ownership of the hotel and casino resort in the early morning of March 20, 2009.
Ruffin's joint venture with his good friend Donald Trump involved a portion of the New Frontier land. The Trump International Hotel and Tower, built immediately adjacent to the Fashion Show Mall, broke ground in July 2005. The tower opened in March 2008, and plans for an identical second tower have been announced. Ruffin has half interest in the development, having contributed the land for his part of the deal.
Ruffin owns various commercial real estate holdings in Kansas and in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.
Ruffin owns and operates Harper Trucks, the world's largest manufacturer of hand trucks and Angelus Manufacturing, a maker of steel hand trucks. In Dec. 2013 Ruffin purchased the assets of Torrance, CA based WelCom Products, makers of the Magna Cart line of folding hand trucks sold in major retailers across the US and over 25 countries worldwide.
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