Casino Gambling

Golden Nugget owner Fertitta gets his own reality TV show

MARY PEREZ/SUN HERALD 
 Tilman Fertitta, president of Landry's, speaks to the crowd that gathered Friday for the ribbon cutting and re-branding of the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi. The billionaire who has it all now has his own reality TV show on CNBC, where he'll have the opportunity to help small business owners succeed.
MARY PEREZ/SUN HERALD Tilman Fertitta, president of Landry's, speaks to the crowd that gathered Friday for the ribbon cutting and re-branding of the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi. The billionaire who has it all now has his own reality TV show on CNBC, where he'll have the opportunity to help small business owners succeed.

He lands his helicopter on his yacht moored behind his Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi when he comes to town. And now Tilman Fertitta, one of America's wealthiest businessmen, will star in his own primetime series on CNBC.

"Billion Dollar Buyer" is set to premiere at 10 p.m. March 22.

Fertitta, the chairman, CEO, and sole shareholder of Landry's, Inc., will offer small-business owners from across the country the opportunity of a lifetime as they meet him and have the chance to supply products and services to his companies.

An array of companies

Fertitta's annual supply expenditure is $2 billion a year for his more than 500 properties including more than 50 leading restaurant, hotel, and entertainment brands. They range from high-end properties such as Mastro's and Morton's The Steakhouse to such mainstream destinations as Rainforest Café, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Saltgrass Steak House, and five Golden Nugget casinos, including the one in Biloxi.

He oversaw all the details in the total conversion of the Biloxi resort, right down to the quality of the cushions on the deck seating. Now he is personally searching the country for the most innovative products America's entrepreneurs have to offer, from food and beverages for his restaurants and casinos to linens and spa products for his hotels.

Up close and personal

During each hour-long episode of his new show, Fertitta will spend time with two small-business owners -- getting to know them, sampling their goods, assessing their compatibility with Landry's brands and deciding whether to give a purchase order.

Never shy about sharing his expertise, he will point out flaws in their products and operations and push for improvements.

"We know there's an appetite for high-quality programming that dives into the world of small business and celebrates the American Dream," said Jim Ackerman, executive vice president of Primetime Alternative, CNBC. "With the addition of 'Billion Dollar Buyer' to our already robust lineup, CNBC continues to be the home for programs that celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit."

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