Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, founder of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International, has died at the age of 79 after a short illness.
Sandals International said: “He’s been called the ‘King of All-Inclusive Resorts’, the ‘Cupid of the Caribbean’, and the ‘Master of Marketing’. While all descriptions are appropriate, none of them quite capture the full measure of Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, chairman and founder of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.
“How could a simple phrase define a man who today controls what analysts estimate to be a billion dollar, privately-owned Jamaican-based Empire that includes 24 Caribbean resorts, Appliance Traders, and The Observer newspaper. All told, Butch Stewart spearheaded two-dozen diverse companies that were collectively Jamaica's largest private sector group, the country's biggest foreign exchange earner, and its largest non-government employer.
“Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 6, 1941, he grew up along Jamaica's north coast, a tropical paradise boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, now home to seven Sandals Resorts, three Beaches Resorts. But the origin of Stewart's business career as the leading entrepreneur in the Caribbean had nothing to do with the hotel or resort industries; rather it had everything to do with salesmanship and Stewart soon proved himself to be a master of the craft.”
His son, Adam Stewart, added: “He was a marketing genius and talented showman, but those who knew him best recognised that he was a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone.
“It was often said, “the best thing for people around him to do is be dream catchers”.
“That’s why he always credited his success to the incredible team around him, why he listened intently when it came to creating innovative things that would excite and delight our guests, and why it is so important that I remind you today of all days, that we will all continue to be his dream catchers.
“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.”