Hawaii tourism

Dr. Richard Kelley, a prominent figure in Hawaii’s tourism industry, dies at 88

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — Dr. Richard Roy Kelley, who led Outrigger Hotels and Resorts for decades and was a prominent figure in Hawaii’s tourism industry, has died at age 88.

Kelley, who had a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, died Feb. 24.

Kelley, who was also an accomplished doctor, grew up working in his parents’ hotels. And once they got closer to retirement, Kelley found himself taking the reins.

Through his leadership, Outrigger has become the largest and most diverse hotel company in the state.

He also spearheaded the creation of the Hawaii Convention Center in Waikiki

For years he has written and spoken about the importance of tourism to our state’s economy.

His family and colleagues say Kelley was upbeat, personable and always had a positive attitude.

“He was a visionary, so he loved looking to the future and then working with people to achieve that vision,” Kelley’s son Chuck said. “He had amazing interpersonal skills and he loved working together on a problem for the benefit of all.”

Kelley loved being in the water, whether surfing, sailing or fishing.

Above all, those who loved him say he was a real family man.

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