The Jamaican-born resort entrepreneur Gordon “Butch'” Stewart has passed away at 79 years old of an undisclosed illness. He decided to keep his health private and continued to be as involved as ever in company activities up until his passing.
He will be remembered as one of the most successful businessmen in the history of the Caribbean.
He founded the Sandals Resort brand and grew it from a single location in Montego Bay to over 16 resorts today with 10,000+ employees.
His son Adam Stewart will carry on Butch’s legacy as Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.
A statement issued by George and Janet Penyak of Penyak Travel on the loss of Butch Stewart:
“The entire Penyak Travel team sends their deepest condolences to the entire Sandals team and Stewart family. Butch has created a brand of resorts rooted in a deep culture of service. His leadership and vision has built some of the greatest resorts in the world that our clients and us personally enjoy year in and year out. He left behind a lasting legacy that will live on forever and will be deeply missed by the entire Caribbean and hospitality community.”
Below is full text of a memorandum issued to Sandals Executives from his son Adam on Butch’s passing:
It is with great sadness that I share with you today the passing of our founder and Chairman, and my father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
This news seems almost unbelievable, since our chairman was as involved and forward thinking as ever.
He chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private and we respected that wish.
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.
While I need to be with family right now, I look forward to speaking with you soon and sharing thoughts about the incredible future of this company built by this most incredible man.
Until then, and to use the words of his iconic sign off, this
Until then, and to use the words of his iconic sign off, this one last time, All that’s good.
– Adam Stewart