Frank J. Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta
Casinos (Station Casinos) and professional fighting (Ultimate Fighting Championship)
Though the Fertitta brothers inherited their father’s casino business in Las Vegas, they increased their fortune by buying the declining mixed-martial-arts league Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2001 for $2 million and eventually selling their remaining stakes in UFC in August 2017, after building a company worth $5 billion. “It was probably the worst brand in the United States because of all of the negativity surrounding it,” Lorenzo told the Washington Post of the company’s growth. Now, the UFC has offices in Toronto, São Paulo, Singapore, and London, and reaches billions of viewers in 30 languages in 149 countries.
The brothers have been collecting art for more than 20 years, continuing in the footsteps of their father, Frank Fertitta Jr. The first work Frank Fertitta III acquired was William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Morning Breakfast (1887), but he has since moved on to the likes of Damien Hirst, Christopher Wool, Brice Marden, and Richard Prince. The Fertittas’ collection is strong in American Pop and Abstract Expressionism. Frank Fertitta III has told ARTnews that his favorite piece is one of Warhol’s Flowers. “I have long been drawn to them. … I own several works of this subject in varying sizes.”
Their Palms Hotel and Casino has become renowned for the number of marquee names decorating its walls and spaces, including pieces by Hirst, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, and KAWS. “Frank and Lorenzo thought we should give people a chance to see stuff that is more niche,” the Palms art curator Tal Cooperman told the New York Post. “They taught me a lot about blue-chip art, and I’m bringing in ideas from the street.”