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Richard Branson’s private island is famously known for its paradise-like exuberance, however not many people know that he bought the island for a fraction of the original asking price and that his primary intention for buying the island was to impress a girl.
The self-made billionaire traveled to Necker Island for the first time in 1977 with Joan Templeman, who would later on become his wife. Today, Branson wrote in a blog post:
“I had been madly trying to come up with a way to impress a girl I had fallen for, so I rang up the realtor, and expressed my interest.
“We were still in the early days of Virgin Records, and I by no means had the cash to buy an island.
“To my delight, the object of my affection agreed to join me on the trip.
“I fell in love twice that weekend – once as our helicopter (supplied by the realtor of course!) swooped over the turquoise water and white sandy beaches of Necker Island, and again when I saw the smile on the face of the beautiful girl who sat beside me on the journey.
“Together we strolled around the Island and dreamed up plans for turning it into a haven for musicians.”
After the trip was over, Branson offered to buy the island for $100,000 but was quickly denied as the asking price was set at $6 million. While Branson’s dreams of owning his own private musical island were temporarily crushed, he was ecstatic a year later when he was offered the island for $180,000.
Eleven years later, Branson married Joan Templeman on Necker Island. They have since turned the 74-acre island into an exotic resort with zip lines, 1,500 square foot rooms, and luxury yachts docked on their private turquoise water.