Sometimes it takes some money to have a little fun, so just think how much fun you can have with a ton of money. Ever wonder how the world’s richest people have a good time? Check out this list of billionaires who know how to live it up.
10. Bill Koch Builds His Own Western Playground
What do you do when you are 200 years or so too late to become part of the Wild West? You recreate it, of course and that’s exactly what businessman Bill Koch did. In a 420-acre meadow in his Bear Ranch in Gunnison County, Colorado, Koch built his own old western town. It currently has around 50 buildings now including a church, a jailhouse, a firehouse, a livery stable, a train station, and of course, a saloon.
He also plans to build a mansion overlooking the town.
He has already told the media the town will not be open to the general public, just his family, friends and historians. Historians will have a reason to visit; the various buildings of his town contain his vast collection of wild west memorabilia.
9. Samuel Cathy’s drives the Batmobile
Samuel Truett Cathy, founder of American fastfood restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, loves cars. He has tons of cars in his collection, but there is one he should probably be careful with driving around in, otherwise people might mistake him for Batman. He owns a Batmobile, one of the ones used in director Tim Burton’s Batman films.
8. Mark Cuban Blows Big Bucks on Parade/Celebrations
Broadcast.com founder Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks. After his team won the NBA championship in 2011 he spent for the lavish victory parade that greeted the team home. How much did the parade cost? $350,000. That parade was followed by a celebration in a local club in Miami. The bar tab? $110,000.
7. David Bonderman Books Private Gigs For His Birthday
When normal people want to rock out they go to a concert, when billionaires want to rock out they book their own private gigs with the biggest stars. For his 60th birthday, TPG Capital founder David Bonderman arranged for a performance by the Rolling Stones at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. He had John Mellencamp as the opening number and comedian Robin Williams entertain guests between their performances.
For his 70th birthday in 2012 he had Paul McCartney perform at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas and had Robin Williams return for another run.
6. Paul Allen Jams
Another billionaire music enthusiast, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns a football team, a basketball team and a soccer team. He has also been giving a lot of money to worthwhile causes and has even been awarded as the most charitable American in 2011 with donations totaling $372 million.
Allen also knows how to have a good time. He owns an aircraft museum, a science fiction museum and a rock and roll museum. He even has a band named Grown Men which released its first CD earlier this year. He has played in a tribute concert to Jimi Hendrix and has also jammed with Usher during a gig on his yacht.
5. & 4. The Zhen Low vs. Winston Fisher Drinking Game
After men argue about who can hold their liquor more, a beer-drinking contest usually follows. However, when two billionaires squared off across a table one night they decided crystal champagne was going to be the drink of choice. This is what happened to Malaysian billionaire Zhen Low and New York real estate tycoon Winston Fisher in 2010 in the Les Caves du Roy nightclub in St. Tropez. They decided to see who could down the most bottles of champagne and be the last man standing.
3. Richard Branson Kitesurfs With Naked Model
Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin group of companies which includes airlines, resorts and even space trips, regularly kitesurfs as a hobby. In 2009 he decided to have a photoshoot of himself kitesurfing with a model clinging to him off Necker Island, his private island northwest of Hawaii.
Some said it was photographer Stephane Gautronneau who suggested his girlfriend, model Denni Parkinson, cling to Branson’s back while he kitsurfed. Others say Branson asked politely if Parkinson could join him. Branson would later say he did not know Parkinson wouldn’t be wearing a bikini at the time.
2. Charles Simonyi Needed Some Space
If someone says they need space what they usually mean is they want some alone time. However when a billionaire says he needs space, it might have a totally different meaning. Maybe that’s what was on the mind of Charles Simonyi when he became the first billionaire to go to space as a space tourist and stay on board the International Space Station not just once, but twice, first in 2007 and then again in 2009.
Simonyi, formerly a software engineer for computer giant Microsoft, reportedly paid the Russian Federal Space Agency $20 million for his first ten-day stay on the ISS and $35 million dollars for his second 13-day stay there. The training was no picnic, Simonyi had to be as fit as the cosmonauts he was going to be staying with and this included how to handle weightlessness.
1. Hamad Bin Hamdan al-Nahyan Thinks Big
Hamad Bin Hamdan al-Nahyan, member of the United Arab Emirates royal family, likes to upsize things. He has a huge car collection, he has a huge car (a Dodge jeep three stories high) in that collection and he also has the caravan listed in the Guinness Book of World records as the biggest in the world.
In a private island, he has also had his name written with waterways so deep they can be seen from space.
He became rich after inheriting the fortune of his father, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, former prime minister of Abu Dhabi Emirates. After serving in the military and diplomatic corps, Hamad decided to pursue his own interests and now he spends his time investigating and experimenting with “new vehicle development” around the world.