Sol Kerzner was born the youngest of the four Children of Jewish-Russian Emigrants, he grew up in the poor suburbs of Johannesburg. In 1979, he established a number of world-renowned resorts before embarking on his big mission — building Sun City. Now Sun City has grown to be one of the most popular destinations in the world, which has managed to attract a large number of international artists, such as Elton John, Queen and Ray Charles. His story and success has been a constant source of lesson for the younger generation on following your dreams and never giving up. That said, what are the 10 things you need to know about Sol Kerzner?
Here Are 10 Things You Must Know About Sol Kerzner
He Bought his First Hotel in 1962
He bought his first hotel in Durban, South Africa, in 1962. The hotel rapidly became a huge success in South Africa; as a result, he decided to build another 5 star-graded hotel in Umhlanga, South Africa. This was followed by his opening of the Beverly Hills’ hotel in 1964, with a succession of Southern Sun hotels in 1969; and the empire of other resorts he has, so far, managed to establish for himself from that time to date.
Sol Kerzner Built Two Man-made Lakes, Four Hotels and 2 Gary-player Golf Courses over a Period of 10 Years.
Among his numerous achievements, the two man-made lakes, four hotels, as well as the two Gary-player golf courses he built within 10 years are considered part of his greatest establishments. At that same time, he also established an entertainment center that contained a 6, 000 multi-seat arenas, in which he invited a large number of superstars to perform: Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, Queen, Elton John, Shirley Bassey and Rod Steward among others.
He has Been Married Four Times
Sol Kerzner has been married four times, and has a total of five children with six grand children. His first wife was Mary Adler, with whom he had three children. He later divorced her and married Sylvia Bestbier and together they had two children before she committed suicide in 1978. Third on the line was the one time Miss world, Anneline Kriel. They stayed in the same house for five years before divorcing. Currently, he is married to his fourth wife, Heather Kerzner, who brought with her two step-sons, Charlie and Savanna.
Sol Kerzner Suffered a Heart Attack that Almost killed him in 1980
Kerzner suffered a heart attack that almost got him killed in 1980. There were rumors that this heart attack had been triggered by his bad temper and womanizing habits.
His Son Died in a Helicopter Crash
On October 11, 2006, his son (Howard Butch Kerzner) was involved in a terrible helicopter crash in Puerto Plata near Sosua, Dominican Republic. He died after the accident.
Sol Kerzner and his Late Son were Almost Broke in 2005
Kerzner and his late son were in debt in 2005 after they delisted their company from the New York stock exchange at a cost of 3.6 billion. However, they sold the two “one and only’s” and Atlantis to Brookfield. And since then, he is still receiving a 5% dividend from Connecticut, and he will continue receiving the dividends until the end of the year, 2014.
He is Set to Build a Casino and a $1.5 Billion Atlantis Resort by 2016
Sol Kerzner got back into the business of developing and designing properties, and is set to build a casino that will be competing with Mohegan Sun. And, apparently as we speak, his company, Kerzner International Holdings Limiteds, has agreed to partner with the largest privately owned resort company in China, Fosun International Limited, to establish an Atlantis Resort in Hainan island, South China Sea. The project is set to consume a 1.5 billion dollar, and should be complete by the end of 2016.
Sol Kerzner was Once Engaged to Christina Estrada whom he Jilted to Marry her Best Friend
Kerzner’s fourth wife was once a best friend to Christina Estrada, who was by then engaged to Sol Kerzner. But Surprisingly, Kerzner ditched her after a seven-year courtship to marry her best friend, Heather Murphy.
Queen Elizabeth II Awarded him an Insignia of a knight Commander
Following his complacent contribution in the business industry of Bahamas, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the insignia of a Knight commander in the highly distinguishable order of Saint Michael and King Georges (KCMG).
He Spent $20 Million for the Launching Party of Atlantis Resort in Dubai
After investing $1.5 billion in the Atlantis resort project in Dubai, Sol Kerzner spent a further $20 million to launch the resort. This party has been recognized as one of the biggest parties that have ever been held in the history of the world; furthermore, it has been ranked above the Beijing Olympics. The party launch was shown on CNN and Sky Broadcast. And from a recent interviewed, Kerzner expressed how he didn’t regret spending such a huge amount on a launch party since he felt the $1.5 billion investment was worth it.