While you we were out slamming shots of tequila on Cinco de Mayo, a certain Arizona resort was hosting an extraordinary gathering of the world’s richest people. We’re talking mega-billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—all partying at a super-secret conference hosted at the crazy-posh Miraval Resort outside of Tucson. You know, the place Oprah stays when she’s doing the desert hideaway thing.
So what were these jet-setting titans of industry up to? Plotting world domination, no doubt. Or, even more diabolically, rigging the vote to get Casey Abrams voted off American Idol? Nope, they we’re discussing the best way to give away their billions to charity.
Yes, all 61 of the billionaires in attendance have taken “The Giving Pledge” promising to donate at least half their fortune to support charitable causes. Created by Melinda and Bill Gates, it was inspired by people such as Andrew Carnegie, the 19th century Robber Baron who gave away his massive fortune to create libraries, schools and charitable foundations worldwide. (Fun Fact: Phoenix’s first public library was funded by a grant from the Carnegie Foundation.) All of which is almost enough for us to forgive Bill Gates and Microsoft for creating that stupid Microsoft Word talking paper clip thingie.
Lastly, you might be wondering why Tucson, and why the Miraval Resort? Well, because it’s owned by AOL co-founder and fellow Giving Pledge signee, Steve Case. Besides, if it’s good enough for Oprah …
Look below for a full slideshow of this stunning sanctuary, where a recent check of room rates starts at a mere $1,050 a night.