Founder of the Sandals Resort, which is the leading hotel chain in the Caribbean, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has died.
Stewart died Monday night in the United States. He was suffering from a “very recent health diagnosis,” his son Adam confirmed.
He was also responsible for Beaches Resorts and their parent company Sandals Resorts International.
The hotel mogul was born 6 July, 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, and was given the nickname “Butch” by an American sailor, according to reports. He grew up along Jamaica’s North Coast, a tropical paradise that now boasts several of his luxury Sandals and Beaches Resorts.
“This news seems almost unbelievable, since he was as involved and forward-thinking as ever,” his son told the Jamaica Observer following his father’s death.
Stewart, in a statement released Monday night said his father “chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private and we respected that wish.”
He also described his father as a “gifted entrepreneur” alongside a “marketing genius,” “talented showman” and “a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone.”
Stewart said his father always credited his success to the incredible team around him, and that he listened intently when it came to creating innovative things that would excite and delight guests at his hotels.
Said Stewart: “Together, we have all been part of something bigger than ourselves, led by a man who believed in us and who gave us opportunities to learn, grow and the tools to make dreams real.
“For him, and because of him, we will continue to dream big and deliver on his certainty that true luxury is always best enjoyed by the sea.
“My dad lived a big life – husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather entrepreneur, statesman and dreamer. A singular personality and an unstoppable force who reveled in defying the odds, exceeding expectations and whose passion for his family was matched only by the people and possibility of the Caribbean, for whom he was a fierce champion.
“There will never be another quite like him and we will miss him forever,” Stewart said.
A giant in regional tourism, media and business, Stewart, at the time of his passing, headed a host of business entities, including Sandals International Resorts Limited and ATL Group of Companies, which included the Jamaica Observer Limited, one of the island’s main media entities.
For 23 years in a row, Sandals Resorts International has been named the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart is survived by his wife, Cheryl, children Brian, Bobby, Adam, Jaime, Sabrina, Gordon, and Kelly; grandchildren Aston, Sloane, Camden, Penelope-Sky, Isla, Finley, Max, Ben, Zak, Sophie, Annie and Emma; and great grandchildren Jackson, Riley, Emmy and Willow.