By Angel Nuñez
On behalf of the community of San Pedro and on behalf of all stakeholders in the tourism industry, Ambergris Today takes great pleasure and honor to say “Congratulations to Holiday Hotel that is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this month of June 2015. It seems very easy to say fifty years, but it is not that simple. If you ask owner and founder Celi McCorkle, it is fifty years of commitment, passion, hard work and vision.
It was back in 1965 that Celi Nuñez, recently married to John Greif, had the vision to introduce the very first hotel to the island - Holiday Hotel was born. Celi built a fairly large wood building with several well ventilated rooms and sought to sell to the American travelers ocean view rooms with ventilation from the Caribbean Sea. This idea hit like wild fire and soon thereafter word spread that there was a comfortable, affordable and very friendly place in paradise owned, managed and operated by Celi herself.
Thereafter it was only a matter of keeping up with the good service and friendliness and for that Celi was exceptional. She often relates her willingness to welcome her guests personally, to cook for them personally, and even to maneuver the hand pump to fill up the elevated tanks that provided a warm shower to her guests. That is the ultimate concept of passion, of commitment and of hard work.
Early in the life of Holiday Hotel, Celi also had the dream of providing air transportation to the Island and with the same passion she and John Greif lobbied with government to procure the land which gave way to San Pedro’s first airstrip. Thereafter, after setting the pace for development of the tourism industry, Celi saw hotel expansion, restaurant and bar services, gift shops, deli, beach reclamation, diving operation, and more.
Celi McCorkle, John Greif II with son John Greif III
John Greif II Airstrip in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Today it is easy to say congratulations to Celi McCorkle on the accomplishment of this milestone, but it was not that easy to get there. It is 50 years of visionary work. It is 50 years of passion, commitment, dedication, frustrations, challenges, ups and downs but most of all fifty years of smiles because no matter what the friendly travelers and guests always deserve a smile.
Ambergris Today says congratulations to Celi and her entire staff, and says hats off to the pioneer of the hotel business on Ambergris Caye, Belize. We wish Holiday Hotel and Celi continued success and when you do retire, take a bow and with a proud smile you can say: “I Did it My Way”. And you know what Celi, it was the right and best way. CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN.
Click To Enlarge Picture
Click To Enlarge Picture
San Pedro Holiday Hotel Brochure in the 60's
San Pedro Holiday Hotel Brochure in the 80's
Brochure Picture in the 80's
San Pedro Holiday Hotel Present Day
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today Online Newspaper -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush, A & R
Contact the Author at: [email protected]