Chris Burch has always been known for his free-flowing mind which many of his colleagues have seen go to work at his Burch Creative Capital company. But he’s really brought it to life at Nihiwatu Resort, the vacation island he purchased just five years ago (businessinsider.com). It was originally a hostel when Burch and James McBride bought the section of the island, but they poured over $30 million into it to build luxury villas with unique designs and several other buildings hosting exquisite restaurants, spas and gift shops.
Burch unleashed his imagination using nature spots like waterfalls and jungle shrubbery to make the resort even more appealing and have places where visitors can enjoy more private activities while taking in nature. He says he plans on passing this investment down to his children and grandchildren and hopes it remains in the family for years to come.
Chris Burch was ranked a billionaire in Forbes magazine’s top wealthy list in 2012, but he came from a regular middle class background prior to that.He was only a college student when he founded his first business, Eagle Eye Apparel which began with selling sweaters made from an Ithaca, NY factory, but it grew into other apparel lines over the next few years and reached highs of over $140 million. Burch later sold this company and his next investments included buying equity in Guggenheim Partners, and investing in online-based companies through the Internet Capital Group. His next major company was Tory Burch, the brand named for a fashion line that his then wife, a New York model and fashion designer began promoting. He owned the shares in this company until 2012 when he sold them off (entrepreneur.com).
The Faena Hotel + Universe was one of the first large hotel properties he added to his portfolio, and he and Faena Group CEO Alan Faena kept a close partnership over the next 10 years that included other smaller hotels and vacation homes across South America and the Miami area. Burch also has invested in and resold several homes in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts including one in 2005 that he invested $14 million in and made an $11 million profit after reselling. He currently owns several upscale homes in New York and Florida in addition to his vacation home in Nihiwatu that he travels back and forth from. Burch is also a philanthropist who has given to healthcare and education organizations, including the Tilton School in New Hampshire where he himself attended as a young man.