Private jets descend on Sun Valley for 'billionaire summer camp'

Private jets descend on Sun Valley for 'billionaire summer camp'

July 12, 2023

Private jets descend on Sun Valley as Disney’s Bob Iger, Patriots owner Robert Kraft join Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James for ‘billionaire summer camp’

  • Every year, the Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho hosts the world’s business titans
  • A fleet of private jets has flown in as billionaires and moguls take their place 
  • Among those on site includes Rupert Murdoch, Bob Iger and David Zaslav

A fleet of private jets have descended on Idaho as one of the world’s foremost business retreats kicks off at Sun Valley Lodge. 

Often described as the ‘billionaire summer camp’, the annual Allen & Co summer conference brings together industry titans from across the planet.

Among the moguls spotted in attendance this year are embattled Disney CEO Bob Iger, New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft, and OpenAI founder Sam Altman. 

The summit is one of the business events of the summer, where leaders from across industries flock to discuss the state of their empires. This year, however, is expected to take a less celebratory tone with global economic struggles and rising inflation. 

Media mogul Rupert Murdock is in attendance with his sons James (right) and Lachlan (not pictured) 

Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav is among the wealthiest men at the retreat

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman pictured addressing the media as he arrived at the Sun Valley Lodge 

The Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho plays host to the world’s foremost business leaders every year

The conference at Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho is among the most prestigious on the business calendar.

Private jets typically fly in at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, around 15 miles from the ritzy resort, where the runways become to full they are known to be backlogged every year. 

Guests are then driven to the ritzy estate, where the picturesque views serve as the ideal backdrop to discuss their next billion-dollar business venture. 

One of the richest in attendance this year is Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who recently topped the list of the best paid media executives in America.  

In 2021 alone he raked in a titanic $246 million, while from 2018 to 2022 he made over $498 million, according to research from Equilar Inc cited by the LA Times. 

A hot button issue at the summit is also reportedly a recent federal court ruling in favor of Activision Blizzard Inc. CEO Bobby Kotick, which aided his company’s $69 billion sale to Microsoft, according to Bloomberg.

Both Kotick and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella are known to regularly attend the annual billionaire’s get-together. 

The rolling Idaho hills serve as the ideal backdrop for the lavish retreat 

Disney CEO Bob Iger pictured arriving on the estate on July 11, 2023

Stacey Bendet, a fashion designer and CEO of Alice + Olivia, wore a striking red and white ensemble as she took her place among the business titans 

Paramount Global Chairwoman Shari Redstone seen on site on Tuesday 

Sun Valley Lodge covers an expansive estate with picturesque views of Idaho 

Activision Blizzard Inc. CEO Bobby Kotick has entered the event off the back of a federal ruling in his favor helping his company’s sale to Microsoft 

The fleet of private jets making their way into the small local airport in Hailey, Idaho are expected to back up the runways once again.

With attendees among the most powerful and influential people in the world, many of the conversations that occur at Sun Valley Lodge ripple through sectors. 

One of the storylines on show this week comes from Disney chief Bob Iger, who has announced that he will step down from his role in December 2024.

Notably, two of those who are reportedly being considered to replace him, Disney Parks’ Josh D’Amaro and Disney Entertainment’s Dana Walden, are expected to attend this year.

The blockbuster Senate hearings on Tuesday between lawmakers and the PGA Tour will also expectedly be on the minds of many at those in Idaho. 

Allen & Co., the host of this week’s summit, was at the center of surprise negotiations that saw the PGA Tour agree to a proposed merger with LIV Golf, a new golf tour backed by the Saudi regime, earlier this year. 

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft pictured arriving at the conference Tuesday

Runways at the nearby airport in Hailey, Idaho is known to be filled with private jets every year

The lavish estate hosts the most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, technology and political spheres

Casey Wasserman, Chair of the Wasserman Media Group, arrives at the Sun Valley Lodge 

Brian Grazer, film and television producer, speaks to the media as he arrives at the conference on July 11, 2023

Business titans seen on the site so far cover industries from tech and sports to finance and broadcasting. 

Among those seen in attendance this year includes Wasserman Media Group chair Casey Wasserman and film producer Brian Grazer 

The conference began in 1982, and in its early days founder Herbert Allen – who co-founded Allen & Company with brother Charles – had to beg invitees to come. 

But now, the Sun Valley conference has built a reputation for hosting high profile business deals, or at least being the site of the conversations that started them.  

Previous deals that have their roots at Sun Valley include the 1995 purchase of Capital Cities/ABC by Disney, Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2009, the purchase of AOL by Verizon in 2015, and Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post in 2013. 

Other famous faces to have shown up at the business getaway over the years includes Mark Zuckerberg, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman. 

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