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Sandals Resorts Founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart Dies in Miami

Gordon “Butch" Stewart
Gordon “Butch” Stewart

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.

“Mr. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart was a brilliant, Caribbean visionary and entrepreneur, who became a household name as he took Caribbean tourism to a level that no one had ever imagined. Once he began to pursue his goal of developing an all-inclusive luxury brand, many doubted that it could be done.  Butch showed the world that the Caribbean is the ultimate place to vacation, created a legacy that no one can match, and had so much fun doing what he loved. His legacy will live on forever, as an industry leader who helped to elevate the Caribbean tourism product to the high standards that we can all be proud of today,” said Fontenelle Clarke.
Born in Kingston, Stewart’s first major venture was Appliance Traders Limited, a company he started in 1968 that sold air-conditioning units, refrigerators and stoves. Today, ATL is the leading motor-vehicle dealership in the Caribbean.
With no experience in the tourist industry, Stewart started Sandals in 1981. It has multiple properties in Jamaica as well as in Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados and St. Lucia.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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