Phil Ruffin is one of the most
successful self-made men in Las Vegas. Not only does he have a net worth of
around $2 billion, but he also owns some of the most iconic casinos on the Las
His casinos, which include Circus
Circus and Treasure Island, bring in hundreds of millions of dollars every
But despite all this money, and the
fact he is nearing his nineties, Ruffin still comes into work at 5 A.M …
to check customer reviews.
Ruffin isn’t just a hardworking casino
mogul either. He owns several hotels, has a loving family and can even boast
that he almost singlehandedly introduced the state of Kansas to self-service
Add to this an extremely close
friendship with former President Donald Trump and you have the makings of an
unbelievable life story.
Image: Ethan Miller via Twitter/KDWNLasVegas
A story that begins with a working-class
boy living in Kansas and ends with a self-made billionaire owning some of the
most famous hotel-casino complexes in the world.
Phil Ruffin was born in Texas on March
14, 1935, the fifth child of Blanche and Roy J. Ruffin.
However, the lone
star state was not his home for long as the Ruffins soon moved to Wichita,
Kansas, where Roy made his living as a grocery store owner.
In Wichita a young Phil Ruffin made a name for himself as a wrestler, winning a national championship at high school.
He was awarded a full scholarship to Washburn University but decided to transfer to Wichita State University where he majored in business.
However, Ruffin never graduated. He dropped
out after three years of college education, with the goal of focusing on
business in the real world.
Ruffin began by selling burgers, a job
which eventually earned him enough money to make his first real venture;
launching one of Kansas’s first self-service gas stations.
The station was an enormous success and
Ruffin started to expand, owning 60 stations-come-convenience stores by 1972.
Again, Ruffin used
the profits from his successful business to invest in a new one. This time he
entered the hotel industry, building a Marriott in Wichita during 1987.
As with all of Ruffin’s businesses
this hotel quickly became known for its fantastic service.
In 1994, Ruffin
decided to once again grow his empire. He leased all his convenience stores and used the
money to enter the casino business, a brave decision that would earn him
The Making Of A Mogul