Let them eat wake? Island-born billionaire Tilman Fertitta rarely is shy about publicity or sharing news about his successes. But he didn’t exactly trumpet the sea-worthy testing of his 250-foot, $150 million super yacht, possibly sensing the awkward timing in an economy reeling from the pandemic.

Still, word spread fast when Houston publication PaperCity published an article Jan. 12 about the yacht. Fertitta came under harsh criticism with some social media posters calling it “tone-deaf” and “conspicuous consumption” in a time when millions are unemployed, and his company last year had furloughed 40,000 employees in the height of the pandemic.

Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com.

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(9) comments

Bailey Jones

I was happy to see that the League House at 1702 Broadway has sold. Every time one of these great old houses gets restored new life comes to the island.

Gary Miller

Building this ship provided four years of good paying jobs for a host of workers. Sorry it wasn't US workers because we don't have the right kind of boat yards.

Jim Forsythe

Gary, Tilman Fertitta's first Boardwalk was built in the USA. I have no idea what car he drives but it may be a Rolls-Royce which is not made in USA. We make cars in the USA but it does not mean that a person has to buy only USA built cars.

A far as the yacht is concerned, it could be that Westport Shipyard was book for many years and could not get to it for a long time. Or maybe he has a friend that owns Feadship’s Aalsmeer shipyard.

But the most likely reason is he likes the way it looks, over others he shopped for.

Tilman Fertitta's first Boardwalk was built in the USA.

With a heritage steeped in the shipbuilding traditions of the Pacific Northwest, Westport Shipyard is a recognized leader among American super yacht builders.

Jarvis Buckley

Gulf coast shipyards can build any type of luxury yacht.

Ted Gillis

I just want to go on board. Maybe he’ll bring it to Kemal and Galveston for regular tours. He can sell tickets at the boardwalk and at pleasure pier.

Eat your heart out Donald Trump!

Bobby Pope

The current Boardwalk will not fit into Kemah,

Doug Sivyer

Maybe he could find better use for his dkisposable income such as paying his underpaid and or laid off hospitality workers a living wage. This obscene display of wealth in times like these, when so many are suffering hardships is sickeneing.

Paula Flinn


Ted Gillis

Well that’s ashamed Bobby. Maybe Tilman can pay to have the channel dredged to allow his new rig to fit. And maybe also during the process they can recover my wallet which slipped overboard out near the second buoy, 40 or more years ago, ha!

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