This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (October 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Tilman Joseph Fertitta (born June 25, 1957) is an American businessman and television personality. He is the chairman, CEO, and sole owner of Landry's, Inc., one of the largest restaurant corporations in the U.S. He also owns the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Houston Rockets.
Tilman J. Fertitta
|Born||June 25, 1957 (age 62)|
|Alma mater||University of Houston|
|Known for||Owner of Landry's, Inc. and Houston Rockets, star of Billion Dollar Buyer|
|Net worth||US$5.1 billion (June 2019)|
Fertitta is chairman of the board of regents of the University of Houston System. Fertitta became the star of Billion Dollar Buyer on CNBC. On September 5, 2017, Fertitta reached an agreement to buy the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Business ventures
- 3 Media
- 4 Fundraising and Public Service
- 5 Politics
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Awards
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Fertitta was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, several generations after his family had emigrated to Texas from Sicily. His father, Vic, owned a seafood restaurant on Galveston Island, and after school, Tilman would peel shrimp in his father's restaurant.
Fertitta attended Texas Tech University and the University of Houston, studying business administration and hospitality management. His first entrepreneurial experience involved selling and promoting Shaklee vitamins.
Fertitta was a partner in the first Landry's Restaurant, Landry's Seafood, which opened its doors in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, in 1980. A year later, he helped open Willie G's Seafood & Steaks, a more upscale restaurant in Uptown Houston.
In 1986, Fertitta gained controlling interests of both locations, and in 1988, became sole owner of Landry's Restaurants. In 1993, he took Landry's, Inc. public and the company grew quickly, adding concept after concept.
In 2010, Fertitta, who already owned the majority of Landry's, Inc. stock, purchased all outstanding shares, becoming sole owner again. In 1993, the company was valued at approximately $30 million.
By 2011, the company's value had skyrocketed to a value of more than $1.7 billion. As of 2013, the company, under the leadership of Fertitta, owns and operates more than 500 restaurant/entertainment/gaming/hospitality locations. In total, Landry's, Inc. employs more than 50,000 people and controls $3.2 billion in assets.
His portfolio includes: The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos; Morton's The Steakhouse; Rainforest Cafe; Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.; McCormick & Schmick's Seafood & Steaks; Saltgrass Steak House; Claim Jumper; Chart House; The Oceanaire; Mastro's Restaurants; Grotto Restaurants, The Boathouse Restaurants  and Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse. In 2017 he acquired half of EMM group, owner of the Catch Restaurants.
In August 2017, it was revealed that the Oceanaire chain added a hidden tax to its bills in order to offset the minimum wage it pays employees. The chain and parent company were criticized by customers due to how "the fee’s only heads-up got buried on the receipt in a dense block of text underneath the signature line." The criticism and media coverage led the company to remove the surcharge.
Fertitta first built the Key Largo Hotel in Galveston, Texas to buy the rights to Landry's. After acquiring restaurants under the company, Fertitta started focusing more on the hospitality division of Landry's and acquired the San Luis Resort, Spa, & Conference Center in Galveston, Texas. He also partnered with the City of Galveston to build the conference center in 2004 inside the resort. Fertitta since acquired two additional hotels on the island, including the Holiday Inn On the Beach in 2003, and the Hilton Galveston Island Resort in 2004, which stands adjacent to his San Luis Resort. In 2015, Fertitta added the Villas at San Luis section of the hotel, which consists of ultra-luxury villas with direct access to both the beach and the hotel's pool.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Landry's first expanded to casinos in 2005 when it bought Golden Nugget Casinos, including locations in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada. Since then, Landry's has opened casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Golden Nugget Atlantic City was previously called the Trump Marina. Fertitta purchased this casino from Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2011.
The Golden Nugget Lake Charles was bought after Fertitta found a license and resort land for sale from Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns the adjacent L'Auberge du Lac Resort. Fertitta stated he built the casino with the idea of having a casino in close proximity to his Houston hometown. After the first year proved the casino was successful, a new 300 room tower began construction on the property.
In addition to restaurants, hotels, and casinos, Landry's also owns amusement parks, aquariums, and the Kemah Boardwalk. Landry's, Inc. first acquired the Kemah Boardwalk in 1999. After acquiring the boardwalk, Fertitta added a few Landry's restaurants, and a few rides. In 2007, he added the Boardwalk Bullet which is a high speed wooden roller coaster. He also added the Boardwalk Fanta Sea, which is a luxury yacht cruise service where guests ride along the Galveston Bay.
The marina on the boardwalk is the largest concentration of boats and yachts in Greater Houston, as well as one of the largest in the nation. The boardwalk also includes an aquarium, which is under the same Landry's line of aquarium restaurants with locations in Houston, Denver, and Nashville. Travel + Leisure magazine named the Kemah boardwalk a top 10 American boardwalk.
In 2000, Landry's acquired the land on the 400 block of Bagby in Downtown Houston. The deal came from a proposal of the City of Houston to redevelop the fire station. After redeveloping the building, the aquarium added the shark tank and restaurant before opening in 2003.
Fertitta redeveloped the pleasure pier in Galveston, Texas, after the pier had closed after damages by Hurricane Ike. The pier reopened in 2012 as the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. The redeveloped pier includes an amusement park, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant, as well as shops.
During the process of building the Houston Texans as an NFL team, Fertitta was one of the original investors in creating the franchise. He was a partner of Texans owner Bob McNair until 2008 when he had to sell his interest in the franchise because he owns Golden Nugget casinos (a Landry's subsidiary) and NFL rules state any staff member of a team cannot be associated with gambling. Both Fertitta and McNair were disappointed, as Fertitta was part of the franchise since its establishment.
In 2003, Fertitta bought the naming rights to the Crawford Boxes seating section of Minute Maid Park, calling it "Landry's Crawford Boxes". The term has become a commercial moniker during radio and television broadcasts. A Landry's sign is placed above the section, along with many of the company's subsidiaries. Traditionally, when a fan catches a home run, they are awarded a gift certificate to one of Landry's restaurants. Landry's promoters often visit the section and give away items such as T-shirts.
On September 4, 2017, he agreed to purchase the Rockets from Leslie Alexander, pending league approval, for an NBA record $2.2 billion. On October 6, 2017 Fertitta was approved by the NBA to own the Houston Rockets. Fertitta paid for the Rockets by selling $1.415 billion worth of bonds and was competing with Houston-native singer Beyonce Knowles to purchase the team. By buying the Houston Rockets he also became the owner of Clutch Gaming, a professional eSports organisation focused on League of Legends.
Fertitta partnered with Richard Handler and announced a special-purpose acquisition company called Landcadia, a portmanteau of Fertitta's Landry's and Handler's Leucadia. The company plans to raise as much as $300 million in initial public offering.
On May 16, 2018, Fertitta announced that Landcadia would acquire Waitr.
On January 12, 2016, it was announced that Fertitta would star in his own reality TV show titled Billion Dollar Buyer on CNBC. Billion Dollar Buyer premiered on March 22, 2016 at 10 P.M. Eastern Time. After receiving success during the first season, a second season was announced, featuring over twice as many episodes.
On September 17, 2019, Fertitta released a book, Shut Up and Listen! Hard Business Truths That Will Help You Succeed, in which he details his journey to success and offers advice to other entrepreneurs on their business ventures. Each chapter contains "Tilmanism's" which focus on 6 important rules for any entrepreneur to follow: "(1) Be the Bull, (2) No Spare Customers, (3) Change, change, change, (4) Know Your Numbers, (5) Follow the 95/5 Rule, and (6) Take No Out of Your Vocabulary" 
Fundraising and Public ServiceEdit
Fertitta is Chairman of the Board of the Houston Children's Charity, which hosts an annual special fundraiser for the organization, called "A Gathering of Champions". The event is attended by well-known professional athletes from around Houston and across the nation. Guests attend in casual attire.
In 2008, Fertitta was named chairperson of the Houston Police Department's Police Foundation, supplying gear and equipment for Houston Police Officers. Fertitta has hosted events for the local police, as the Police Foundation Chairman. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
On October 4, 2019, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued a tweet that supported the 2019 Hong Kong protests which drew criticism from Fertitta who said that while Morey was the best general manager in the NBA, the Rockets were not a political organization. Morey later deleted the tweet.
He is the third cousin of former UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta. An avid sports fan, Fertitta is a vocal supporter of the University of Houston Cougars and can be seen at most Cougar football and basketball games as well as court side for Houston Rockets basketball games. In 2016, Fertitta donated $20 million to rebuild the University of Houston's basketball home of Hofheinz Pavilion, since renamed Fertitta Center, along with donations for the construction of TDECU Stadium.
Fertitta has praised the deregulatory goals of the Trump administration, saying in 2017 that “to deregulate all this regulation is going to be very good for the oil business, the energy business, the restaurant business." 
- Texas Business Hall of Fame (Class of 2004)
- "Tilman Fertitta". Forbes. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- "Welcome to Forbes". Forbes.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Valiant Media. "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". LandrysInc.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "TILMAN J. FERTITTA NEW OWNER OF THE HOUSTON ROCKETS". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. October 6, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- "It's official: Tilman Fertitta owns the Rockets". chron.com. October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- "The World's Richest Restaurateur Has A Secret: It's Not About The Food - Forbes". Forbes.com. August 23, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "University of Houston System". uhsa.UH.edu. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Tilman J. Fertitta to Acquire NBA Houston Rockets". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. September 5, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- "Report: Billionaire Tilman Fertitta set to buy Houston Rockets". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "Source: Fertitta buys Rockets for record $2.2B". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "Tilman Fertitta - Biography". 4-traders.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Big Fish | Texas Monthly". texasmonthly.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "New UH System Board of Regents". houstonarchitecture.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- L.A. Lorek (May 2, 2004). "Landry CEO aims to build in Texas". Chicago Tribune.
- Robb Walsh (October 23, 2006). "Fertitta's Dynasty of Dining". houstonpress.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Cartwright, G. (1998). Galveston: A History of the Island. TCU Press. p. 326. ISBN 9780875651903. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Valiant Media. "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". landrysinc.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Fertitta keeps strategy as he takes Landry's private - Houston Chronicle". chron.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "History of Landry's Restaurants, Inc. – FundingUniverse". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Fertitta headed to Texas Business Hall of Fame - Houston Business Journal". bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "University of Houston News: New UH System Board of Regents Officers, Student Regent Set for FY2013". uh.edu. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "CEO Taking Landry's Private". upstart.bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Tilman Fertitta - Forbes". forbes.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Tilman J. Fertitta: Executive Profile & Biography". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". Landrysinc.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Valiant Media. "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". landrysinc.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Morton's steakhouse chain sold to Landry's owner". bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Catch Kingpin Mark Birnbaum Sells Half His Company to Landry's Owner Tilman Feritta".
- Judkis, Maura (August 17, 2017). "A billionaire-owned restaurant charged a 'minimum wage' fee. Outrage ensued". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
- Rainey, Clint. "America's 'Richest Restaurateur' Tried Adding a 3 Percent Minimum-Wage Fee". Grub Street. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
- Beachfront Hotel & Spa - Galveston Hotel - Texas Beach Resort, SanLuisResort.com; accessed May 23, 2017.
- History of Landry's Restaurants, Inc., FundingUniverse; accessed May 23, 2017.
- "Tilman Fertitta assumes ownership of Trump Casino in Atlantic City". May 24, 2011.
- "The Power List 2018: Tilman Fertitta". January 24, 2018.
- Travel + Leisure America's Best Beach boardwalks, travelandleisure.com; accessed May 23, 2017.
- Patricia Hochwarth (September 1, 2004). "Shipshape at Landry's". Restaurant-hospitality.com. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Emily Clark (September 10, 2007). "New Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster opens in Texas". Gizmag.com. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (May 23, 2012). "HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT..." Facebook. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- "Golden Nugget owner sells interests in Texans". NFL.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- "Seafood chain turns up the juice for naming rights to ballpark seats". BizJournal.com. April 14, 2003. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- "Source: Fertitta buys Rockets for record $2.2B". ESPN.com. September 5, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- Ozanian, Mike. "Here's How Tilman Fertitta Is Paying For The Houston Rockets". Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "Clutch Gaming: Travis interviews Sebastian Park". Travis Gafford. March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- "Landry's and Jefferies CEOs to launch acquisition company". businessinsider.com. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- Barinka, Alex. "Houston Rockets Owner's Blank-Check Company Buys Waitr". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Coolest party venue ever". houston.culturemap.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- "Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta will star on primetime show". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- "Season Two of CNBC's 'Billion Dollar Buyer' Premieres Tuesday, November 22 AT 10P ET". CNBC. October 31, 2016.
- "'Tilmanisms,' Tilman Fertitta's words of wisdom, debut in new book 'Shut Up and Listen'". msn.com. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
- "Shut Up and Listen!: Hard Business Truths that Will Help You Succeed". amazon.com. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
- "Fertittas host Gathering of Champions - Houston Chronicle". chron.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "New UH System Regents appointed by Gov. Perry". uhclthesignal.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Houston Police Officers' Union – Badge and Gun". hpou.org. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Houston Police Officers' Union website". hpou.org. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Tilman Fertitta, the entrepreneur and Police Foundation Chairman". thepolicenews.net. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Houston Police Officers' Union | Tilman Fertitta Opens Back Yard to HPD and the Foundation". hpou.org. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Committees". rodeohouston.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "New Officials Elected for 2014 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo". rodeohouston.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Fertitta, Tilman J." houstonpolicefoundation.org. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman of the Board - Houston Children's Charity". houstonchildrenscharity.org. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweets support for Hong Kong protests, prompting response from owner". sports.yahoo.com. October 5, 2019.
- Polacek, Scott (October 5, 2019). "China Basketball Suspends Work with Rockets After Daryl Morey's Hong Kong Tweet". Bleacher Report.
- Feigen, Jonathan; Chronicle, Houston (October 5, 2019). "Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta shuts down GM Daryl Morey's Hong Kong tweet". Houston Chronicle.
- "Rockets GM Daryl Morey in hot water after Hong Kong tweet". USA Today. MSN. October 5, 2019.
- "Paige and Tilman Fertitta open up their River Oaks mansion for Sant... - CultureMap Houston". houston.culturemap.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Clifford, Catherine (March 7, 2017). "Billionaire restaurateur: Trump is doing a great job". CNBC. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
- "Restaurant tycoon Fertitta goes extra mile for friends". Chron. July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2019.