When it’s comes to naming names, Peter Hughes is a pretty big deal in the halls of Divi Resorts. In a good way, that is. He’s not only good, he’s a legend. And, a “legend” is what he was called in a celebration recently at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino in Bonaire.
You see Peter Hughes had a lot to do with making the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort a real destination. In fact, he had a lot to do with making the little island down near Venezuela a destination for people from all over the world. Taking advantage of the island’s natural marine beauty – warm, calm waters teeming with colorful creatures – he put together a first-rate dive operation in a fledgling resort on an island with a fledgling tourism industry.
He started work the day after Christmas in 1975 at a place called the ZeeBad hotel, which wasn’t so bad of a hotel, but it was certainly not the resort we know today with its casino, spa, restaurants, pools, lush landscaping and 129 rooms. And, back then it didn’t have any of the colorful Caribbean charm it has today. When Peter first arrived, the hotel had about five divers a day. By the time he left Bonaire a decade later to open dive operations at other Divi Resorts, the property was handling 275 a day. And today, the island of Bonaire tops many lists of best dive destinations, including the 2011 Scuba Diving’s Reader’s Choice awards. (link to awards on landing page).
And, that’s why the folks at Divi decided to christen The Peter Hughes Room, a meeting and reception room located at the Divi Dive shop. Top government and tourism officials for Bonaire came to the ribbon cutting for the room, also noting that the hotel has been welcoming tourists for exactly 60 years. There was indeed a lot to celebrate. And, still is.