Elite retreat: Welcome to secret summer camp for billionaires in US

This week marks the beginning of the “annual fly-in event” at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho, colloquially known as the “summer camp for billionaires.” Hosted by the New York investment bank Allen & Company, the exclusive Sun Valley retreat attracts some of the richest and most powerful leaders in business, media, and politics.
As per a CNN report, the gathering, scheduled from July 9-13, brings together high-profile guests in a relaxed, trail-dad chic atmosphere.Participants, clad in puffy Patagonia vests and Apple watches, engage in off-the-record discussions and enjoy organized adventures such as hiking and rafting.
A storied venue for historic deals
Sun Valley has a reputation for being the birthplace of significant business deals. It is widely believed that Jeff Bezos decided to buy The Washington Post at this retreat, and Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal was also reportedly conceived here. Warren Buffett famously referred to Sun Valley dealmaking as “acquisitions by walking around.”
This year’s attendees
The Idaho Mountain Express and Variety have reported a parade of private jets arriving on Tuesday, July 9, carrying dozens of power brokers including:

  • Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI
  • Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, along with his potential successors
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta
  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
  • Rupert Murdoch, media mogul
  • Oprah Winfrey, media executive and talk show host
  • David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery

Other prominent names from the tech and business sector expected to attend are Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Andy Jassy, Peter Thiel, Daniel Ek, Neal Mohan, Michael J Cavanagh, Dara Khosrowshahi, Brian Chesky, Mike Fries, Barry Diller, Alex Karp, Ynon Kreiz, and Marc Benioff.
From the entertainment and fashion world, notable attendees include Shari Redstone, Jason Blum, Brian Grazer, Bobby Kotick, Charles Rivkin, Bryan Lourd, François-Henri Pinault, Sara Blakely, Michael Rapino, Anthony Wood, and Netflix co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters.
Political figures expected to attend include Michael Bloomberg, Chuck Schumer, Amos Yadlin, Kyrsten Sinema, Wes Moore, Brad Little, Mark Gordon, Gretchen Whitmer, and Josh Shapiro.
Media representatives attending are Gayle King, David Begnaud, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Elle Duncan, Becky Quick, Tom Friedman, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Evan Osnos.
The retreat’s agenda
The retreat’s agenda is kept secret, and attendees engage in closed-door lectures on topics ranging from national security to healthcare. Despite the secrecy, there is anticipation of discussions around artificial intelligence, Bob Iger’s succession plan, and the Paramount-Skydance merger.
One notable absence this year is Warren Buffett, who at nearly 94, is possibly handing over the reins to his successor, Greg Abel. Elon Musk is also absent, following last year’s public fallout with other CEOs.
As the elite gather to discuss the future, questions about President Joe Biden’s ability to campaign loom large, with potential 2024 ballot replacements being a hot topic. Governors Gretchen Whitmer, Josh Shapiro, and Wes Moore are seen as potential contenders.

malek

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