Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Away from it all: a retreat for world leaders
Forget Chequers and the Palace of Versailles. The next time Gordon Brown or Nicholas Sarkozy need a bolthole in which to recharge their batteries or a place for a private pow-wow, they might find themselves lured to a new retreat amid the pink rocks of the Nevada desert.
Donna Vassar, part of the Vassar education dynasty, has launched plans to build a $300m (£150m) private getaway for stressed-out presidents and prime ministers who want to "reconnect with their unique purpose in life".
The Universitas Leadership Sanctuary is intended as part monastery and part conference centre where the most powerful men and women on the planet can get away from it all with a combination of reading, contemplation and even a spot of gardening.
To remind them of their role as leaders of the planet, the sanctuary will be built in the shape of a four-storey globe on the shores of Lake Las Vegas, a privately-owned lake in the south Nevada desert where temperatures can reach 50C at the height of summer.
more @ guardian