by Howard Campbell
[MIAMI] – Gordon “Butch” Stewart, the Jamaican appliance salesman who became one of the world’s greatest hoteliers, died in Miami on January 4 at age 79.
Stewart was founder of Sandals Resorts, one of the leisure industry’s leading hotel brands.
His son, Adam Stewart, said his father had recently been diagnosed with an illness but did not disclose a cause of death.
Among those hailing Stewart was Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness who said the businessman “was ahead of his time”.
In a statement, Holness said, “It is with deep sadness that I learnt of the passing of one of Jamaica’s most brilliant, innovative and transformative business minds. He has left his unmistakable mark across the region and the world and we shall miss him dearly.”
Portia Simpson Miller, the former Jamaica Prime Minister, said Stewart’s family, “has lost a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His workers have lost their leader and motivator, and so many of us have lost a friend.”
“My condolences to the Stewart family and the extended work family. Rest in peace, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart. We will never forget how you changed Jamaica for the better and positively impacted so many lives.”
Kelly Fontenelle Clarke, founder of Travel Advisors Selling the Caribbean, a company that promotes travel to the region, also saluted Stewart’s vision to make the Caribbean tourism’s top destination.