Canadian businessman Isadore Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960. While a young architect working for his father, Sharp designed a motel for a family friend; its success motivated him to try creating his own hotel. He bought a large parcel of land in a run-down area of Toronto and planned a stopover for business travellers; the Four Seasons Motor Hotel opened in 1961. Four Seasons built more hotels, including the 1963 Inn on the Park, a $4 million two-story resort hotel in suburban Toronto that housed Canada’s first discothèque. Since 2007, Bill Gates (through Cascade Investment) and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal have been majority owners of the company. In 1974, cost overruns at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver nearly led the company into bankruptcy. As a result, the company began shifting to its current, management-only business model, eliminating costs associated with buying land and buildings. Economic downturns in the early and mid-2000s affected the company. When the September 11 attacks caused the collapse of the travel industry, Four Seasons refused to cut room prices in order to preserve the perceived value of the brand, which caused tension with property owners who were losing money.4 The company recovered, and in 2007 it agreed to a buyout by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $3.8 billion.14 The pair own 95 percent of the company, in equal shares, and Sharp owns the rest. They now operate with 45,000 staff with various competitors worldwide including Hilton and Belmond.