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Sun May 31, 2020, 01:22 AM

Fertitta returns federal funds, warns of commercial real estate bust

GALVESTON -- Island-born businessman and billionaire Tilman Fertitta generated much buzz this week when he warned Tuesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” of a commercial real estate bust caused by pandemic shutdowns and restrictions hurting restaurants and retail. Fertitta called for reason and compromise among stakeholders.

“We can’t pay rent if we’re not doing business,” said Fertitta, owner of the Landry’s Hospitality empire, along with Golden Nugget casinos and the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

“I want to be a reasonable tenant, and I expect the landlord to be reasonable with me,” Fertitta said. “But don’t expect me to pay you 100 percent rent when I’ve been closed by the county, the city, the state, the government — and you — because your mall’s not open, your facility’s not open, you have no business, your hotel’s closed,” he said. “This is a time we all have to work together. Everybody needs to be reasonable and, once again, everyone needs to feel some pain.”

On May 18, Fertitta also met with President Donald Trump, who hosted business owners from across the restaurant industry for a roundtable discussion on how to help the industry make a comeback as the economy reopens.

Read more: https://www.galvnews.com/business/buzz/free/article_5de5c047-351b-5372-aac3-1a466cc86c99.html

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