Thursday, October 11, 2007

Richard Branson's Next Challenge

Cara Roberts photo
On a day when his luck nearly ran out, like his friend Steve Fossett's, British billionaire Richard Branson moved a step closer to joining the superheated Las Vegas casino business.

Branson, the founder and chairman of Virgin Group, confirmed Wednesday that he's working on a Las Vegas deal.

"We had some meetings today and I think Virgin will be flying over Las Vegas within a couple years," Branson told me during a red carpet interview at Tryst nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas.

Rumors have been flying for several years that Branson, one of Europe's most successful entrepreneurs, has plans to take on Las Vegas .

Meanwhile, with his injured hand heavily bandaged and still sore from another bruising stunt, Branson, 57, was counting his lucky stars.

In one of his most dangerous outings of all, Branson survived a wild and windy 407-foot plunge from the top of the Palms' Fantasy Tower.

"I've never done a stunt like that before," said Branson, who took such a beating that his tuxedo pants were torn apart. "That was my first fall like that. I've done some mad things but I've never done anything quite like that."

Tricky 20 mph wind gusts kept slamming him into glass and concrete during his fall. He was wearing a full-body harness connected to a cable.

" You're going 100 mph and you're banging against the wall. It was slightly unnerving. But I'm well, everything's fine."
Read the rest of this story in the amazing Norm Clarke's column.

No comments: