Barron Hilton - owner of a hotel empire who donated his fortune to charity
William Barron Hilton is a well-known businessman from the United States, remembered for his success not only in entrepreneurship, but also in sports and aviation. Thanks to his efforts, the American Football League (AFL) and the Super Bowl appeared. As the child of hotelier Conrad Hilton, he inherited the hotel empire Hilton Hotels Corporation and made an invaluable contribution to the development of the gambling industry. Barron was a true innovator, and many of his ideas, implemented in his own business, are actively used by casinos around the world to this day. In particular, it was he who first installed video surveillance cameras in the halls, while previously the security service monitored guests through double ceiling mirrors. And this is far from the only thing that is remarkable about the biography of Hilton Jr.
- Early years
- Further development of the hotel business
- Innovative activity
- Father's will and own death
|Date of death||19.09.2019|
|Place of death||Los Angeles, USA|
The future famous entrepreneur was born in 1927 in Dallas, USA. His mother is Mary Adelaide, and his father is Conrad Nicholson Hilton, founder of a chain of hotels.
During World War II, Barron served in the US military, not as a soldier, but as a photographer. When he left the army, he was accepted into the USC aviation school.
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At the age of 20, Hilton proposed to Marilyn June Hawley, with whom he lived together until her death. Over 57 years of marriage, the couple managed to have eight children - 5 sons and 3 daughters.
During his lifetime, Barron became the grandfather of 15 grandchildren. Among them is the notorious singer and actress Paris Hilton.
Before William started helping his father run the hotel business, he managed to buy Vita-Pakt, a US distribution company. He was also among the founders of several other brands in the fuel supply and air travel industries.
At 27, Barron was promoted to vice president at his father's Hilton company Hotels and assumed the role of head of franchising operations.back to contents ↑
Further development of the hotel business
12 years later, in 1966, Barron Hilton headed the corporation and became its CEO in place of his father. Almost immediately, he began to actively expand the inherited empire. Already in 1970, the entrepreneur obtained approval from the board for the acquisition of the International and Flamingo hotels, thus increasing his influence in Las Vegas. The property was bought from Kirk Kerkorian and his close friend and business associateFred Benninger.
Through this deal, Hilton Hotels became the first company in history to be listed on the stock exchange, which was engaged in the organization of gambling.
Barron clearly saw the prospects of Las Vegas and the potential profit that could be made here. Rebranded as the Vegas Hilton and Flamingo Hilton, the hotels soon began to flourish, and gambling generated the lion's share of the income. By 1972, only two casinos were making a profit commensurate with the corporation's 160 hotels located in the United States. That is, one object in Vegas was equal in terms of profitability to 80 hotels.
New financial flows allowed the corporation to continue expanding the network of objects. The main strategy of the company was focused on Nevada, and transactions were made through franchising and buying management contracts.
In 1977, Barron acquired the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, with which his father had entered into an agreement 28 years earlier. The latter agreed to lease and manage the facility for a period of 30 years. When the contract came to an end, the son bought the hotel itself and the surrounding area. The cost of the transaction was $35 million, while today this object is estimated at $1 billion.
In the 80s, Barron reduced his activity corporations. While competitors were expanding rapidly, he began to restore and rebuild existing facilities, thanks to which the company's profits increased significantly. Two complexes in Las Vegas almost tripled the number of rooms.
Barron Hilton has always adhered to a conservative model of behavior in everything related to finances. Throughout the entire term of the corporation, he managed to maintain a good reputation in banks. Largely thanks to this, Hilton Hotels managed to absorb the famous Bally's Reno - a resort worth $ 230 million. 24 years later, already in 1992, the Hilton corporation bought it for only 88 million. Barron directed serious investments into this object and was able to stabilize its condition, which been undermined for decades by regular downtime.
In 1996, the entrepreneur left his post and became the head of the board of directors, having worked in this position until his death.
While Barron was a conservative approach to entrepreneurship, he was innovative in terms of facility management and gambling. The main one was the introduction of video surveillance. A former photographer, he used his experience to improve the security of the halls. Cameras have been installed in each casino to replace the obsolete double mirror system on the ceiling.
Another important decision in terms of promoting gambling and attracting the attention of guests was the organization of live performances by famous artists, for exampleFrank Sinatra. Concerts were regularly held at the Hilton and Flamingo hotels. In 1969, Elvis Presley spoke at the opening of The International, who completed a ten-year acting career and returned to his beloved work. By agreement with Hilton, the singer performed in front of the audience for 60 consecutive days twice a year.to index ↑
Paternal will and own death
Conrad Hilton, father Barron, died in 1979 and donated 97% of his property to his own charitable foundation. The total value of the shares bequeathed to him amounted to $ 13.5 million. At the same time, he left the opportunity for his son to buy back the securities if he wants to retain control of the hotel business. The management of the charitable foundation tried to challenge Barron's said right in court, and as a result, the proceedings lasted 10 years. In 1989, the parties agreed, and the shares were divided. Hilton received 4,000,000 securities, the fund received 3,500,000, and another 6,000,000 were transferred to the W. Barron Hilton Charitable Remainder Unitrust.
Wishing to repeat his father's move, Barron bequeathed almost all the property to the same charity fund. The value of the shares at that time, namely in 2007, was estimated at more than $2 billion. Hilton passed away in 2019.