In 1930, I was born here in Niagara Falls, to Serbian parents who immigrated to Canada from their native land early in the 20th century. Following high school, I attended the University of Toronto and upon graduation in 1953 I returned to Niagara Falls to develop my father’s motel business, which he had started in 1940. In 1968, I opened the Holiday Inn by the Falls on Murray Hill where I was able to grow and develop my businesses over the years and eventually, in 1986, I acquired the Skylon Tower, which stands tall as a Niagara Falls landmark.
During the formative years of Niagara’s tourism industry, I was privileged to be part of the Niagara Resort and Tourist Association along with the Visitor and Convention Bureau. In 1997, I was grateful to accept the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement. I was also pleased to chair the Convention Centre development.
In the future, I plan on developing the 22-acres surrounding the Skylon Tower to include new hotels, international dining and entertainment venues. In keeping with family tradition, I continue to develop my businesses with my family. Above all, we maintain a vision to make Niagara Falls a world class tourist destination. We will continue as always to be involved in our community’s positive growth.
Today, I am a proud grandfather of six grandchildren and remain actively involved in the local Serbian community, having contributed many resources to maintaining the two Serbian Orthodox Churches in the Niagara region.
How long has your family been in Canada?
My family has been here since the early 1900’s.
Where is one place in Canada you have not visited that you would like to visit?
I would like to visit the oil fields in Alberta and the City of Calgary.