Simonitsch retires after 39 years as head of Half Moon

HEINZ Simonitsch, after 39 years as managing director of Half Moon, will be leaving this year to spend more time with his family and to pursue what he said are lifelong ambitions.

Simonitsch, 75, will retire as managing director of the hotel on June 30, after an amazing career that has seen Half Moon grow from a 30-room property to become one of the world`s most successful privately-owned beach resorts.

Simonitsch, according to a statement from the hotel, was the first to recognise and develop the Japanese market, the first to computerise a hotel in Jamaica and the first to have a hotel inducted into Green Hotel Hall of Fame.

“Over the years, Simonitsch has faced and conquered many challenges: reconstruction and improvement of the hotel after two hurricanes, rebuilding of the central facilities after a fire in a record breaking nine months, the construction of 32 royal villas and a 4,000 square foot village shopping and conference area,” the statement said.

In addition to Half Moon, Simonitsch founded an all-age school which has 135 students, has been actively involved in the SOS children`s village and is Austria`s Consul General. And under his chairmanship, Elegant Resorts International has become a highly successful hotel marketing organisation.


Simonitsch was chairman of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association for a total of five years and of the Caribbean Hotel Association Hotel for two years. His lifetime contribution to tourism in Jamaica and the Caribbean has been recognised by the award of Commander of Order of Distinction (honorary).

Simonitsch, although giving up the day-to-day running of Half Moon, which is this year marking its 50th anniversary, will serve as a director and consultant.