Private jets of media moguls arrive at Idaho 'billionaire summer camp'
5th July 2021

Media and tech moguls descend on Sun Valley in private jets for exclusive ‘billionaire summer camp’ with Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and his Amazon successor Andy Jassy set to attend

  • The annual invite-only conference in Sun Valley, Idaho is thrown by investment bank Allen & Company 
  • It brings together leaders in the worlds of film, technology, design and sports 
  • The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic 
  • Attendees this year will have to be vaccinated, and provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test 
  • At the conference, movers and shakers discuss, establish and may even unofficially close on deals 
  • This year rival chief executives including Discovery’s David Zaslav, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos along with his successor Andy Jassy and Bill Gates are said to be  guests 
  • The conference is invite-only with no press allowed to attend 

Private jets descended on Sun Valley in rural Idaho on Monday ahead of the annual ‘billionaire summer camp’ for tech and media moguls .

The gathering brings together the worlds of film, technology, design and sports each year, although the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, the five-day conference, held at the edge of Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest in a tiny town of just 1,500, is set to feature strict checks to ensure it does not become a superspreader event.  

Some of this years’ sessions will held outside in an attempt to minimize risk. 

Private Jets park alongside grazing cows at Friedman Memorial Airport ahead of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference

After a year hiatus due to the CVOID-19 pandemic the world’s most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, and technology will converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive week-long conference

The annual invite-only conference is thrown by investment bank Allen & Company


Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet will be there. So too will Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is expected to attend this year’s event at Sun Valley Lodge. He is pictured at the event in 2014

Bezo’s successor and current CEO of Amazon Web Services Andy Jassy, pictured, is also expected to attend

John Nallen, chief financial officer and senior executive vice president of Twenty-First Century Fox will be there. He is pictured at the conference in 2017


Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of US cable giant Comcast, left, and Reed Hastings, Chief Executive Officer of Netflix are expected to be there


Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, is also among this years’ invitees together with former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

Those attending investment bank Allen & Co.’s annual conference will need to have been vaccinated and show proof of a negative Covid-19 test. 

Over the holiday weekend, private jets belonging to business leaders began arriving at the local airport and taking up space on the tarmac at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey as they parked up for the week.

From there, guests are chauffeured through 15 miles of lush rolling hills to the lodge where the conference takes place.  

Rival chief executives including Discovery’s David Zaslav, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos along with his successor Andy Jassy,  Comcast Corp.’s Brian Roberts and Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos are all said to be on the guest list.

A sign is seen at the entrance to the Sun Valley Resort ahead of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference

Workers continue to setup at the Sun Valley Resort ahead of the private Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference

The Sun Valley Lodge stands in Sun Valley, Idaho. The annual Allen & Co. conference gathers many of America’s wealthiest and most powerful people in media, technology, and sports

Technicians setup inside the Sun Valley Pavilion ahead of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet will be there, so too will Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are also expected to attend along with Shari Redstone, who controls ViacomCBS.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, is also among the invitees, as is Fox Corp. Chief Operating Officer John Nallen. 

They will have a lot to discuss given the massive shift to streaming during the pandemic and consumers moving to Netflix and Disney+ over the last 16 months and cutting the cord from traditional pay-TV subscriptions.

In May, AT&T said it was spinning off WarnerMedia which is made up from HBO, the Warner Bros. film and TV studio along with the cable networks of TNT and TBS into a new venture being formed with Discovery.


Attendees in 2019 included Ron Meyer (left), then-Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal, and David M. Zaslav (right), CEO of Discovery


PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman (left) and McDonald’s chief Steve Easterbrook (right) both attended in 2019

Apple CEO Tim Cook and the company’s senior vice president of internet software Eddy Cue are seen at the event in 2018

The following week Amazon announced its intention to acquire MGM studios. 

Such consolidation within the media industry has reduced the number of potential targets available, but fresh deals are not off the table. 

The real action for many onlookers will happen in corridors, restaurants and golf courses rather than conference rooms. 

‘It would be wise for these companies to collaborate and rethink the ecosystem, and figure out their future,’ said analyst Neil Begley to the Wall Street Journal. ‘There are still a few players out there that can be easily absorbed.’

Analysts believe the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger could be the first of many deals which are made as the traditional media companies look to compete better in streaming by bulking up on content. 

Billionaire media executive Shari Redstone (pictured) is pictured at the conference in 2019

Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan Murdoch (right), who is the CEO of Fox Corporation and co-chairman of News Corp., and his wife Sarah Murdoch (left), went to the event in 2019


Former Disney head, Michael Eisner, and David M. Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery Communications are pictured at the conference in 2019

Previous deals that have their roots at Sun Valley include the 1995 purchase of Capital Cities/ABC by Disney, Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2009, the purchase of AOL by Verizon in 2015, and Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post in 2013. 

Attendees at the last conference  2019 included Facebook bosses Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg;  Disney’s Bob Iger; 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki; Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, who is the CEO of Fox Corporation; PayPal CEO Dan Schulman; Instagram COO Marne Levine; McDonald’s chief Steve Easterbrook and billionaire media executive Shari Redstone. 

The conference began in 1982, and in its early days founder Herbert Allen – who co-founded Allen & Company with brother Charles – had to beg invitees to come. 

The Sun Valley Resort is seen ahead of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference After a year hiatus due to the CVOID-19 pandemic the world’s most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, and technology will converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive week-long conference

A sign is seen on the Sun Valley Inn ahead of the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference

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