💸 When each of Austin's 10 billionaires moved here
- 5 min read

💸 When each of Austin's 10 billionaires moved here

Plus: What you need to know about early voting in Texas.


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☀️ Good morning, Austin.

It's not new news that our humble city is home to a handful of the ultra-wealthy. But it never gets old pulling back the curtain a bit. Below is a refresher, plus the 40-year timeline of when each billionaire moved here.

Then, read @theatxdrinker's thoughts on the current state of our bar scene and get your democracy on with an early voting FAQ.

From Dell to Musk, a timeline of Austin's billionaires

Credit: Lisa O'Connor/AFP | Gary Miller | Paras Griffin | Getty Images

David Booth, the billionaire co-founder of a major hedge fund, moved to Austin in 2007 and built a sprawling artsy estate on Lake Austin, now worth $42 million, per the county appraiser. 

He dubbed it Paradox Cove.

Ironically, the stretch of lake abutting his compound would come to be known as Party Cove, where boat companies ferry locals and tourists to float on foam pads with seltzers in hand for 4-hour intervals. (Proof that even billionaires can’t control what grows around them in a city changing as quickly as Austin.)

Alas, the uber-rich seem to find our city cozy, for a slew of reasons. 

Here’s a look at the 10 “locals” currently on Forbes’ real-time billionaire tracker. 

Austin Daily

Austin experienced a boom in millionaire residents between 2012 and 2022, per a 2023 U.S. wealth report from consulting firm Henley & Partners. 

Why the influx? 

Not exactly breaking news, but many credit the cost of living, exposure to Austin’s tech scene and even the down-home vibes.

Here’s a look at a few high-profile moves over the years — and the “whys.” 

  • Flashback to the 1980s and 90s: Austin’s semiconductor world is in full swing. Michael Dell dropped out of UT as a freshman and founded Dell the same year. Dell and Joe Leimandt — who brought software firm Trilogy to town because it was cheaper to operate here than in California — really put the city’s tech scene on the map. 
  • In the late 90s, John Paul DeJoria picked Austin “for family values.” 
  • SHI International, led by Thai Lee, came to the city in 2008 “for a fresh start.”
  • In the early 2020's Hayes Barnard came for “innovation.” 
  • Now, of course, we have Elon Musk, who has been vocal about his disdain for California regulations. It doesn’t hurt that Texas doesn’t have personal income or individual capital gains taxes.

Whatever the reason, we’ve got them all to thank (er, blame?) for boosting the city’s average net worth. 

Meanwhile, we’ll be saving a buck or two at Taco Tuesday.

— Katie Canales, Editor

Temperature: 78 degrees   Sun: Playing peek-a-boo  What to Expect: Gusty winds

Hang onto your hats and your skirts, y'all, the wind gusts today will be strong! Otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds along with spring-like temperatures.

Mary’s Tip: Wine Down Wednesday should be celebrated on a patio or rooftop this evening.

💭 Meet Anthony Jones, a.k.a @theatxdrinker.

Katie Canales/Austin Daily

You probably know Anthony Jones by his Instagram handle, @theatxdrinker, where he doles out words of boozy wisdom on the daily. We recently caught up with him at Cosmic Saltillo. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What do you think about Austin bars marketing themselves as "speakeasies" right now?

A: If you can pull it up on Google, it’s obviously not a speakeasy. But people love them, and I even love them at times. I think they’re fun, it goes into the marketing, right? There’s a level of attractiveness with people saying you have to walk through this certain room and then find the number on the wall. That’s what I think it is; it just makes it more playful as a bar. The bars want the business. That’s how they succeed.

Q: What’s the hottest neighborhood for a prospective bar owner?

A: Maybe, right now, East Sixth is probably the best place to be because you’re just going to get the walking traffic.

Q: What makes for a truly successful bar?

A: It’s a little bit of everything. Throw in a good location, throw in a bunch of events, make sure you’re active on social media, have open ears to what the community’s doing.

Q: Give us your Austin hot take.

A: I actually think there are too many bars here right now.

What to know ahead of the March 5 primary.

The gist: You’ll be voting on which Republican and Democratic candidates appear on the general election ballot in November. Texas is an “open primary” state, which means when you get to the polls, you can request a Republican or Democratic ballot – but only one. Don’t get greedy.

Key dates: The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is Feb. 23 (fyi, qualifications are steep here in the Lone Star State). The last day of early voting is March 1. Here’s a full list of early voting polling locations and hours in Travis County.

What am I voting on? Candidates for U.S. president and senate, Texas railroad commissioner, state senators and representatives, members of the State Board of Education and a handful of county and local races.

For a ballot sneak peek, the always helpful and nonpartisan League of Women Voters has a great sample ballot feature, just plug in your address.

We're so glad you found us. Find our bios and contact info here, or reach out at hello@austindaily.com. Behind today's send: Katie Canales, Cat DeLaura, Mary Wasson and Randi Stevenson.