Kerzner International founder passes away

Sol Kerzner has died aged 84

Sol Kerzner
Sol Kerzner

The founder and former chairman on Kerzner International, Sun International and Sothern Sun hotel group has passed away. Sol Kerzner died in his family home in Cape Town, aged 84.

The youngest of four children, Kerzner was born in Johannesburg in Russian immigrants, later running the family-owned hotel chain. In 1962 he bought his first hotel, the Astra Hotel in Durban. He later went on to build South Africa’s first five-star hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Considered one of his most monumental contributions to South African hospitality, Kerzner worked to open Sun City. With work starting in 1975, Sun City took a decade to complete and eventually comprised four hotels, a man-made lake, two golf courses and a 6,000 seat arena.

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In 1994, he made his first major acquisition outside of Africa with The Paradise Island Resort in The Bahamas. He later went on to open resorts and properties across The Maldives and Dubai, among other tourist destinations.

In 2008, Kerzner International opened the US$1.5 billion Atlantis resort on Dubai’s Palm island. The 1,500-key property opened with the largest aquarium and waterpark in the region, along with the world’s largest firework display to celebrate the start of operations. 

His daughter Andrea released the following statement: “No matter how busy he was, he always made time for us, his family. He would take a call from any one of us in the middle of an important meeting or fly half-way across the world to get to a grandchild’s birthday party. For Dad, his family was everything, his joy.”

Also in the Kerzner portfolio is the One&Only Resorts brand, a high-end selection of hotels which continues to expand across the globe.

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