Richard E. “Dick” Holtzman managed Sheraton operations as president of Sheraton Hawaiʻi Corporation in the 1960s … a time for growth and a time for firsts. He opened Sheraton’s first neighbor island property, the “upside down” Sheraton Maui at Black Point on the newly developed Kāʻanapali Resort. To promote the new resort, Maui hosted the first playing of golf’s Canada Cup Tournament at the Royal Lahaina Golf Course and the first United Airlines DC-8 Charter flight non-stop and direct into Kahului airport.
A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Dick brought his management skills to bear on the expansion of Sheraton’s operations as well as development issues for the destination. He was instrumental in lobbying for ordinances to control street vendors in Waikīkī and to improve the appearance of Hawaiʻi’s famous lei stands and beach facilities. Dick understood the appeal of Hawaiʻi and supported programs to provide more focus on Hawaiian culture in promoting his hotels and the destination. Dick was chairman of the Hawaiʻi Hotel Association in 1963 and was involved in many industry and community associations. Following his career at Sheraton, he became president of Rockresorts, the resort management firm developed by Laurance Rockefeller.