Caribbean hospitality giant Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has died.
The Jamaican-born hotelier, founder of Sandals Resorts International, died in the United States earlier after a short illness.
He was 79 years-of-age.
Stewart was born in 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica.
He grew up along the north-coast of the country, where he adopted his nickname, given to him by an American sailor.
Stewart was the founder of Sandals Resorts, the leading hotel chain in the Caribbean, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International.
He also led the ATL Group and the Jamaica Observer.
He was known as one of the most successful Jamaican businessmen ever, with a fortune running to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Stewart leaves behind seven children and his wife, Cheryl.
His son, Adam Stewart, said on the death of his father: “It is with great sadness that I share with you today the passing of my father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
“This news seems almost unbelievable, since he was as involved and forward-thinking as ever.
“He chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private and we respected that wish.”
Sandals Resorts famously offered two people in love the most romantic, Luxury-Included holiday experience in the Caribbean.
With 16 stunning beachfront settings in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Barbados and Grenada, Sandals Resorts offers more quality inclusions than any other resort company on the planet.
Sandals Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International, which includes Beaches Resorts and is the Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort company.
The company had recently announced plans to expand into Curaçao.
In a letter, Adam Stewart added: “The Hon Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart OJ, a distinction he was so proud of, was a gifted entrepreneur.
“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.
“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, dreamer.
“A singular personality and an unstoppable force who revelled 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.”