Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes was an only child, dying in 1976 with no
will or children.
Mr. Hughes's estate now has more than 1,000 heirs and beneficiaries who are hoping for one last, big payout from a swath of Las Vegas land bought by the tycoon in the 1940s to establish an inland base for his aerospace operations.
They are likely to get little. The housing bust has shriveled the value of the 7,000 acres left in what is now called the Summerlin development in Las Vegas, once thought to be worth as much as $2 billion. The property also has gotten bogged down in the bankruptcy of mall giant General Growth Properties Inc., which controls the land and was supposed to make a final payment to the Hughes group early next year.
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