'Summer Camp For Billionaires' kicks off with Tim Cook, more flocking to the Sun Valley Resort

Tim Cook People
Tim Cook People (Image credit: Brooks Kraft/Apple)

What you need to know

  • Tim Cook and other members of the tech elite are at the Sun Valley Resort for their annual shindig.
  • Nobody really knows what happens, but deals are very likely being done behind closed doors.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is among the attendees of what many call 'Summer Camp For Billionaires,' a retreat at the Sun Valley Resort in a tiny town in the Sawtooth Mountains. The Sun Valley, Idaho get-together will include the biggest, brightest, and above all wealthiest of the tech elite as they do ... something.

A new NPR report notes that the shindig is put together by a boutique investment firm called Allen & Company. You've probably never heard of it, and that's rather the point. It has no website, and it's said to be a company that is private above all else. Cook probably likes that part the most.

The event normally takes place every year, although last year's meeting of the minds was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Estimates suggest that the combined wealth of those attending this year, thought to include Zuckerberg, Bezos, and others, will exceed $1 trillion. Hopefully the tips will be considerable for those working the event.

It isn't really clear what goes on at this annual event, but you have to imagine grievances are aired and deals are done, likely over bottles of wine that cost more than homes and entrees that don't look like something you're actually supposed to eat.

Prominent politicians – including heads of state – give talks and take questions. Mike Pompeo attended when he was the head of the C.I.A., and Mauricio Macri was a guest when he was the president of Argentina. Then, at night, there are cocktail parties and lavish dinners.

What's in it for Allen & Company, you ask? We're told that the company expects a chunk of the money made during any deals initiated during the retreat. You have to imagine those numbers add up pretty quickly, right?

You can read the full NPR piece for more insight into how the event comes together.

I suspect none of the people in attendance are short of a few dollars, but now that Jeff Bezos is unemployed maybe he should check out our list of the best iPhone deals. Those billions won't last forever!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.