“Entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer”: Sandals founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart dies at 79

“Entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer”: Sandals founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart dies at 79
Gordon "Butch" Stewart.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Jamaican hotelier and business mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart died in hospital yesterday.

Stewart, the founder of Sandals Resorts International, ATL Group and The Jamaica Observer, died at 79.

His death was confirmed in an internal memorandum issued to managers of the Sandals group by his son, Sandals Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart.

Adam Stewart acknowledged the death seemed unbelievable, noting his father chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private.

He said his father will be missed forever.

“The Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, OJ, a distinction he was so proud of, was a gifted entrepreneur,” Stewart said.

“He was a marketing genius and talented showman, but those who knew him best recognized 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.’”

Stewart continued: “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.”

Stewart said: “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 reveled 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.”


Butch Stewart inspired hope, vision and focus for the future. He brought out the best in everyone he touched!.. Jamaica has lost a great wonder.. magician and most cherished son and I have lost the only person that I ever admired for his decency, affable manner and confidence he inspired in us all.
I will always mirror his smile and remember him.. he holds a special place in my heart!

Sad he died but he runs a very shitty organization in my book. His people are incompetent and very uneducated. My wife got hurt on his resort and they over charged me $2809.40 cents. 6 Months still haven’t got back my money. Hours and hours of my time and they still can’t get it right. Worst experience ever supervisors very rude. They disconnect calls when they are getting put in their place with facts. To me they are thief’s play too many games and don’t do anything for their customers especially that my wife got offered a different car ride to get to airport form resort. She came in with sandals and left with an ace bandage on her foot. This guy should really have trained people better.

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