Skift Take

Investing in travel isn't such a gamble after all, except if you're referring to gaming -- which appears to be a sure bet when it comes to wealth creation.

Jack Taylor, the elderly founder of Enterprise Rent A Car, is the richest travel investor in the U.S. with a net worth of $11.4 billion, according to the just-released Forbes list of the 400 “Richest People in America,” but when it comes to bragging rights, it’s all about the Pritzker family of Hyatt fame.

We’ve identified 30 people among the 400 (see the table below) who are involved in travel, including Liberty Media chairman John Malone ($6.7 billion) who owned a chunk of Expedia and TripAdvisor and now is a member of the Expedia board, Carnival chairman Micky Arison ($5.9 billion), and Marriott chairman Bill Marriott Jr. ($1.95 billion).

The family most widely represented on the list of the richest travel investors is the Pritzker family, with 10 members occupying spots. The Pritzkers beat out the Fertitta family (restaurants, casinos, Ultimate Fighting Championship), who merely have a trio (Tillman, Frank III and Lorenzo) on the list.

In the race within the race, Thomas Pritzker ($2.7 billion), chairman of The Pritzker Organization, is the richest Pritzker on the list, and Nicholas Pritzker III ($1.3 billion) is the poorest Pritzker to make the Forbes’ Richest list.

But let’s not forget Penny Pritzker ($2.2 billion), the second richest Pritzker on the list, who also happens to be U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Penny Pritzker was edged out by Thomas Pritzker in the richest Pritzker sweepstakes by a mere $500 million.

Overall, judging from the list, casinos, hotels and restaurants appear to be very fruitful investment targets in the travel industry.

But, don’t tell that to Steven Udvar-Hazy ($3.4 billion), the CEO of Air Lease Corp., who made his mark in aircraft leasing, which is obviously a nice way to bring home an honest paycheck.

Here’s the travel-oriented investors represented on The Forbes 400:

The Richest Travel Investors in America

Forbes 400 Richest Ranking Name Source Net Worth
36 Jack Taylor and Family Enterprise Rent A Car $11.4 billion
61 John Malone Cable TV, Expedia $6.7 billion
61 Elon Musk Tesla Motors $6.7 billion
70 Micky Arison Carnival $5.9 billion
118 Barbara Carlson Gage hotels, restaurants $3.9 billion
118 Kirk Kerkorian casinos, investments $3.9 billion
118 Marilyn Carlson Nelson hotels, restaurants $3.9 billion
143 Martha Ingram and Family book distribution, transportation $3.4 billion
143 Steven Udvar-Hazy aircraft leasing $3.4 billion
151 Karen Pritzker hotels, investments $3.3 billion
166 Anthony Pritzker hotels, investments $3 billion
166 Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker hotels, investments $3 billion
184 Steve Wynn casinos, hotels $2.9 billion
201 Thomas Pritzker hotels, investments $2.7 billion
222 Phillip Ruffin casinos, real estate $2.5 billion
235 Tillman Fertitta restaurants, casinos $2.4 billion
252 Penny Pritzker hotels, investments $2.2 billion
260 Barry Diller online media (Expedia) $2.1 billion
260 Jean (Gigi) Pritzker hotels, investments $2.1 billion
273 Richard Marriott hotels $2 billion
293 Daniel Pritzker hotels, investments $1.95 billion
296 Bill Marriott Jr. hotels $1.95 billion
296 Dean White billboards, hotels $1.95 billion
296 Elaine Wynn casinos, hotels $1.9 billion
314 Linda Pritzker hotels, investments $1.8 billion
327 Jennifer Pritzker hotels, investments $1.7 billion
352 Manuel Maroun and Family transportation $1.5 billion
382 Nicholas Pritzker II hotels, investments $1.35 billions
386 Frank Fertitta III casinos, Ultimate Fighting Championship $1.3 billion
386 Lorenzo Fertitta casinos, Ultimate Fighting Championship $1.3 billion
 Source: Forbes

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Tags: forbes, hotels, investors

Photo credit: Penny Pritzker, part of the Hyatt family that's on the list, testifies before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in Washington. Yuri Gripas / Reuters

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