Over the course of his career, Ruffin has shown success as an entrepreneur by way of his involvement in a diverse range of enterprises. His most successful commercial ventures include the acquisition of casinos in both Las Vegas and the Bahamas. Because he was ready to take chances and act on the feedback he received from his consumers, both of his enterprises have seen enormous amounts of success.
Because of how successful they were, Phil Ruffin has an estimated net worth of more than $2.8 billion at the present time. Please keep reading this in-depth biography to get more insight into Phil Ruffin and the casino industry’s evolution as a result of his contributions.
The Beginning Years
On March 14, 1935, Phillip Gene Ruffin was born in the county of Potter in the state of Texas.
The fifth kid to be born into his family, Ruffin had two elder brothers and two older sisters who came before him. His parents were born in Lebanon, but they emigrated to the United States in the hope of finding religious freedom and better economic opportunities for their family. His family made the move to Wichita, Kansas, not long after Ruffin was born, and there is where he spent the most of his early years.
Between the years 1950 and 1953, he was a student at Wichita North High School. Although he had good marks in school, it is his physical prowess that will be the thing that people remember most about him. As a result of his dominance in wrestling and his ability to shatter a number of the school’s records, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Washburn University on a full ride. Ruffin was at first apprehensive to enroll at Washburn since he had planned all along to attend a school located outside of the state so that he could finally get some much-needed distance from his parents. However, he simply couldn’t refuse the opportunity to get free tuition.
Ruffin ultimately decided on a degree in business after spending the first two semesters of his academic career adamantly refusing to choose a major for himself. He was successful in finishing both his freshman and sophomore years with a grade point average of 3.0 or better, but his junior year proved to be rather difficult for him. His grades began to suffer, which made him feel incredibly overburdened and stressed out. After the wrestling season for that year had over, Ruffin made the decision to forego continuing his education and instead focus on establishing his own company.
Ruffin was the first entrepreneur in Kansas to introduce the concept of self-service gas stations.
The big oil companies were reluctant to give him permission to do this, as they believed that ladies wouldn’t be able to pump their own gas and that men in suits wouldn’t want to. He had to overcome a lot of criticism from these corporations in order to be successful. Wichita, Kansas served as the location of his first self-service gas station and convenience shop once he had finally succeeded in getting the oil corporations on board. After seeing how profitable it was, he requested and was granted permission to establish an additional sixty petrol stations around the Midwest.
Because of the profits he gained from those petrol stations, he was able to construct his first hotel, which was a Marriott and it was located in Wichita. Ruffin gave off the impression from the very beginning that he was made for the hospitality industry. He put forth a lot of effort to ensure that his visitors had comfortable lodgings, and the fulfillment of their needs was always his first concern. The word got out about the quality of his hotel services, which led to his Marriott being completely booked at all times.
Ruffin was able to become a multi-millionaire as a result of the cash generated by the 10 other hotels that he subsequently established in the state of Kansas.
Wichita Greyhound Park and Racing Track
Wichita Greyhound Park was the first greyhound racetrack to be established in the state of Kansas when it first opened its doors in the year 1989. By the year 1990, the event had been attended by roughly 800,000 people. 1996 marked the beginning of the decline in popularity that would continue, with just 400,000 people attending the event that year. Ruffin bought the property the year after it was listed because he was certain that he could bring the company around.