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Bahamians are mourning the loss of George Myers, an iconic hospitality industry figure who literally grew up in a hotel and went on to become one of the nation's biggest employers through The Myers Group of hotels and restaurants.
Born in Jamaica, Myers worked in his family-owned hotel there before moving to The Bahamas in 1963. He rose from Bar Manager to Vice President and General Manager of the Nassau Beach Hotel before later playing a major part in the development of Paradise Island in his role as President and Chief Operating Officer of Resorts International (Bahamas).
"George was truly a legendary figure here in The Bahamas - a place he loved so deeply. He had that rare ability to touch and shape the lives of so many people throughout our country, the Caribbean region and beyond," said Joy Kilibru, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board CEO.
"George was equally comfortable in the presence of royalty and world leaders as he was with front-line hotel and restaurant workers," she added.Kilibru says it would be impossible to overstate Myers' impact on the growth of Nassau Paradise Island and The Bahamas during an illustrious career that spanned more than 50 years.He was founder of both the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board and Paradise Island Tourism Development Association, which brought the hotel industry together to market and help further develop the destination.In his work with the Caribbean Hotel Association, Myers was the driving force behind the creation of the region's premier tourism marketing event Caribbean Travel Marketplace, a great testament to his vision.
With the creation of The Myers Group Ltd. in 1992, Myers built an organization with more than 1,000 employees. In addition to hotels, became the leading restaurant operator in the destination.
This writer fondly remembers working with Myers on the advertising account for the Radisson Cable Beach Resort. The owner of the agency, the creative director and myself as copywriter and account exec travelled to Florida to present a new campaign.
We made the presentation and when the sweating, black-suited creative director finished, all eyes turned to George Myers, who sat silently for several seconds before growling "What else ya got?" I thought the creative director was going to collapse until George let out a belly laugh and said "Nice work boys."Kilibru says Myers was affectionately called "Mr. Tourism" and that the name was a perfect fit for a man who "embodied the best elements of what makes our industry so special."
"His is a legacy that will not be matched and whose achievements will live on.," said Kilibru. "The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board joins our countrymen and our fellow members of the tourism industry in expressing our condolences and love for the Myers family and the memory of our beloved friend."
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