Half Moon turns 65
Half Moon’s Guy Steuart wore a bright green jacket and an orange tie to his hotel’s 65th anniversary party last Saturday night in Montego Bay, securing political correctness in a country where politics means a lot.
The hotelier was not about to be labelled, except to be acknowledged as one of the island’s most committed and dedicated investors in the booming tourism sector, his father being one of the earliest ones out the blocks.
The classy celebratory event, held on the new East Cove lawns of the 400-acre property, attracted some 150 guests, many of them from neighbouring communities.
Steuart, who spent his early years running around the Montego Bay resort, admits to spending his time familiarising himself with the Jamaican culture.
In his speech, the Half Moon chairman, whose family members were out in their numbers, lauded his grandfather, Curtis Steuart, and father Guy Steuart I, noting that 65 years of continued business was a remarkable achievement for any enterprise.
“I suspect in the very early days amongst the founders, there was great circumspection whether the enterprise would survive past cocktail hour, let alone thrive for generations.”
The idea for a hotel on the property, he told the party people, was first floated around 1951 and promoted by Harold deLisser to vacationers at parties held at Sunset Lodge. Curtis and Esther Steuart, his grandparents, were two of those guests.
Reminiscing, the young Steuart took the audience down memory lane, stating that, back then, Montego Bay was a destination promoted through telephone and travel agents distributing lovely brochures with that year’s prices – and maybe next’s – with coloured sketches and largely black-and-white photos, with rich narratives to entice travellers.
Today, Half Moon is among one of the country’s most prestigious resorts, with majority ownership split between three American families.
“Which not only makes this a family business, but it also makes it family,” said the hotel’s chairman.