Summa Corporation was the name adopted for the business interests of Howard Hughes after he sold the tool division of Hughes Tool Company in 1972. The tool division would merge with Baker International in 1987 to form Baker Hughes, the world's third-largest oil-services company. The name "Summa", Latin for "highest", was allegedly chosen by several of Hughes' employees without consulting him first. Hughes was allegedly dissatisfied, and preferred the name "HRH Properties" - with the initials standing for both "Howard Robard Hughes" and "Hughes Resort Hotels". His suggestions were never implemented, and the company remained Summa for 18 years following Hughes' death.
This new holding company contained Hughes' varied investments including:
- KLAS-TV - the Las Vegas CBS affiliate, reportedly purchased because Hughes tycoon was dismayed that the station never played his favorite late night movies.
- Hughes Airwest - a regional airline
- Hughes Sports Network
- Hughes Helicopters - a former division of Hughes Aircraft Company retained by Summa when the remainder of the aircraft business was donated to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as its endowment
- Sands Hotel
- Frontier Hotel and Casino
- Landmark Hotel and Casino
- Castaways Hotel and Casino
- Desert Inn
- Silver Slipper Casino
- Xanadu Princess Resort
- Hughes Nevada Mining
Howard Hughes died in 1976 at the age of 70, intestate. Administrators were appointed led by his cousin William Lummis. Most of Summa's operations were gradually liquidated. Summa's Nevada money losing mining interests were sold by the end of 1976, while KLAS-TV and Hughes Sports Network were both sold in 1978. Hughes Airwest was sold to Republic Airlines for $38.5 million in October 1980, and Hughes Helicopters was sold to McDonnell Douglas for $470 million in January 1984. The hotel and casino properties were gradually sold off during the 1980s. As its original businesses were sold, Summa recast itself as a real estate developer, using the vast tracts of undeveloped land Hughes had amassed around Las Vegas as a starting point.
In September 1994 Summa Corporation was renamed The Howard Hughes Corporation, both to honor Howard Hughes and to fulfill his original intentions of keeping his name on the business.
Howard Hughes Corp. was acquired by the Rouse Company in 1996. Rouse was, in turn, acquired by General Growth Properties in November, 2004. The current version of The Howard Hughes Corporation was spun off in 2010 and is now a developer and operator of master-planned communities.
- "Republic Airlines takes over Hughest Airwest on Oct. 1". Deseret News. UPI. September 18, 1980. p. 10B.
- "McDonnell finishes Hughes acquisition". Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. Jan 7, 1984. p. 20.
- Hazlett, Curt (25 August 2004). "General Growth Drops $12 Billion On Rouse". Retail Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "General Growth Properties Completes Spinoff of The Howard Hughes Corporation". General Growth Properties. Retrieved 25 September 2011.