America's Versailles Resumes Construction, To Be Complete in 2015

Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 06:45 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Billionaires David and Jackie Siegel restarted construction on their dream home after work on the 23-bath, 13-bedroom Versailles was stopped during tough economic times.

The couple began building the 90,000-square-foot home outside of Orlando and then stopped four years ago when David Siegel’s company, Westgate Resorts, floundered during the recession. The building project was the subject of a documentary, "The Queen of Versailles," in 2012.

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After the 2008 recession, Westgate Resorts was forced to lay off thousands and the Versailles home eventually went into foreclosure and was put up for sale. But the company is back on track, reporting record profits last year and business up 50 percent this year.

“We were fat, dumb and happy,” David Siegel told CNBC. “Now we’re lean and mean.”

The documentary, which some hailed as “surprisingly sympathetic” to the couple, brought them notoriety for the struggles they went through as the company failed and their idea for a dream home faded. OK Magazine took a close look at David Siegel and who he really is.

From opening a single TV store in 1954 to owning an orange grove that brought in $100,000 a year, David Siegel’s rags to riches to rags to riches story highlights a true American dream.

And back in the riches segment of their lives, David and Jackie Siegel are looking toward the 2015 completion of their home, which was inspired by the French palace of Versailles. When done, it will boast three pools, two bowling alleys, a disco, roller rink, two tennis courts, three hot tubs, a bomb shelter, a wine cellar and a 30-car underground garage, according to OK Magazine. Don’t forget the two movie theaters and game rooms, and a grand hall with a 30-foot stained glass dome.

In an article on NYmag.com titled “177 Minutes with Jackie Siegel,” the couple talked about getting a lot of flack for conspicuous consumption after the movie came out. It didn’t seem to bother Jackie Siegel, but David Siegel said the depiction of his company’s downfall was inaccurate.

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