Penguins Living In Palatial Digs Have Stepen Schwarzman To Thank

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SeaWorld Entertainment’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin attraction, opening today at the company’s namesake theme park in Orlando, features 50-foot glaciers, 2,500 glass icicles and up-close encounters with 230 penguins, dusted daily with 6,000 pounds of snow. “It is the coolest attraction in the world,” President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison said in an interview. “You kind of check out of the rest of SeaWorld and find yourself in Antarctica.” To Atchison, it’s also an example of how private-equity firms, often criticized for dismantling the companies they buy, can jumpstart a business like SeaWorld. Blackstone Group LP bought the company, which owns 11 parks in five states, for $2.3 billion from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in December 2009. As a small part of the world’s largest brewer, SeaWorld was starved. Atchison, who took Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld public last month in an $807 million share sale, called the last years under the brewer’s ownership ��a drought period.” [Blackstone] gave Atchison, who has held executive roles with SeaWorld since 1998, the go-ahead to crank up capital spending -- from $120 million in 2010 to $225 million the following year and $192 million in 2012. [Bloomberg, related]

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Stephen Schwarzman Supposedly Not Interested In 'Mommy Porn'

50 Shades of Grey is the first book in a trilogy about the relationship between a recent college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a "young business magnate," Christian Grey, the former being employed as a sex slave of the latter, who has a room in his apartment called the "Red Room of Pain," where his sadomasichistic directives go down. The books have been dubbed "mommy porn" and are apparently huge among married women over thirty who are using the "tantalizing tale to spice up their sex lives." Naturally, the subject came up last night at a party attended by some billionaires and their wives. Stephen Schwarzman [attended the event] with his wife, Christine Schwarzman, who said she's just finished reading the novel "50 Shades of Grey," which is "definitely not for Steve," who likes the thriller writer Lee Child. While the Blackstone CEO maybe be (allegedly) too good for billionaire BDSM tales, we're pretty sure most of his peers have found themselves unable to put the page-turners down and don't care who knows it. To that end, we've sent out detailed questionaires to top CEO and hedge fund managers to find out how many other "out and proud" readers of erotic literature there are among Wall Street's elite. Apparently Jimmy Cayne went through the trilogy in "less than a week." Bill Cunningham on Borrowed Dresses, Charity Galas, Astor [Bloomberg]