HOTELS: Luck from the Shamrock?

Glenn McCarthy, 47, the wildcatting rags-to-riches Houston oilman, last week lost his last fingerhold on the green-tinted Shamrock Hotel. For $625,000 he sold Hilton Hotels his redemptive right to the Shamrock, thus gave up the privilege of buying back the property that cost him $21 million. With that went the last significant chunk of the far-flung McCarthy empire, which in its heyday encompassed big Southwestern oil and gas fields, export-import companies, a Detroit steel plant, weekly newspapers, a Houston bank.

Publicly, McCarthy did not regret the loss of his Shamrock. Said he: "You can always build other hotels." It...

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