Move over Jeff Bezos, there’s a new richest person in the world. On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is seeking to transform transportation in Las Vegas, officially took over that title.
Forbes tracks that in real-time on its web site. As of 10 pm ET Saturday, the magazine valued Musk’s net worth at $189.7 billion. That’s $4 billion more than Amazon founder Bezos.
On social media, Musk treated the occasion as a ho-hum affair.
Musk’s rise up to the top of the Forbes chart has simply been phenomenal. In March 2020, Musk was still very wealthy, but his net worth at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was only $24.6 billion. That means his net worth has shot up nearly seven-fold in 10 months.
While best known for his roles with car-maker Tesla and private aerospace transportation firm SpaceX, Musk also founded The Boring Company (TBC). That company is finishing work on an underground loop that will transport visitors across the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
The underground tunnel system uses high-speed, self-driving Tesla vehicles to take conventioneers from one end of the LVCC to another. What would take 15 minutes walking will take only a minute in the Loop.
According to 8 News Now, officials from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) said the work on the $52 million project is “substantially complete.”
The LVCVA Board of Directors is scheduled to meet Tuesday for its first meeting of 2021. On the docket are two agreements with TBC.
The first would allow CVA management to sign off on a deal allowing The Boring Coming to operate the Convention Center Loop for 16 months, starting on Feb. 1. The amount of that deal is not to exceed $6.25 million.
The other item would grant TBC easements so it can build an underground connector between the LVCC Loop and the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. That’s expected to be the first step in what Musk has proposed as a larger Vegas Loop. That would connect the Convention Center to an underground tunnel system running from Downtown Las Vegas to the Strip and other key destinations, including McCarran International Airport and Allegiant Stadium.
Last month, the Las Vegas City Council agreed to let the project move forward. Clark County officials are expected to review the 15-mile project next month.
The project is risky, especially as the COVID pandemic has hurt Vegas casinos. if the underground loops succeed, it could lead to Musk building similar projects elsewhere.
Musk’s meteoric wealth accumulation is not an anomaly among the mega-rich during the pandemic.
While Musk has certainly been one of the biggest winners, even Bezos has seen his net worth jump from $113 billion last spring to $185.7 billion.
Even businessmen with ties to the gaming industry have seen their net worth rise.
At No. 30 on the Forbes list is financial entrepreneur Daniel Gilbert. Though most famous for owning the Cleveland Cavaliers and being the co-founder of Quicken Loans, Gilbert also serves as the chairman of JACK Entertainment. That company operates a casino in downtown Cleveland and a racino in nearby North Randall, Ohio.
Gilbert, currently worth $42.2 billion, saw his net worth jump by more than $34 billion in August alone after Rocket Companies, another venture he founded, went public in August.
Seven spots below Gilbert is Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. This past week, Adelson took a leave of absence to resume treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
While gaming across the globe has taken a substantial economic hit because of the pandemic, Adelson, according to Forbes, has made a nice recovery. His net worth went from $34.5 billion in October 2019 to $26.8 billion last April. However, his current net worth has rebounded to $35.6 billion.