Ken Fowler owner of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Photo submitted

The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort community is mourning the loss of Ken Fowler, owner of Ken Fowler Enterprises and shareholder of the resort. Mr. Fowler passed away Monday, February 13th at the age of 90. According to the Muskoka News Watch, he was on a Caribbean cruise with family.

Mr. Fowler was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. The entrepreneur never went further than Grade 10, but would go on to become a millionaire with investments primarily in real estate, restaurants and retail stores. In 2006, he purchased Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, a property he enjoyed visiting.

He loves the property and all the amenities. He always said it’s the people that make it special, he truly lived that. He always sought out people when he was visiting and inquired about how they were doing, how their family was doing. He had built a lot of relationships with the employees here at the resort, said Fairmont Hot Springs Resort CEO and president Pascal van Dijk.

For the staff at the reort, the passing of Mr. Fowler comes as quite a shock.

Everyone here expected Ken to live at least to 100. Given the amount of energy and enthusiasm that he brought to the resort when he visited, he visited us frequently despite his age, said Mr. van Dijk.

As a leader, Mr. Fowler empowered his staff to make the decisions they believed were the best ones for the resort. His lessons and energy will leave a legacy within the resort, he added.

One thing I will always remember about him is the way he allows the people on the ground to run the day-to-day business. He always used the analogy, if your grandfather had just given you this business, do what you think is best for it. That’s the way he wants people to run one of his businesses and I really appreciate that kind of a leadership style. He empowers people to do what they think is best, said Mr. van Dijk.

Going forward, the resort will continue to operate the same day to day, with Ken Fowler’s son, Doug Fowler, taking the responsibility of protecting the investment on behalf of the family. According to Mr. van Dijk, the resort will continue to build towards Mr. Fowler’s bold vision for the property.

We’re coming off our best year since Ken Fowler acquired the resort in 2006 and we will do all we can to at least repeat that in 2017. We are excited about the opportunities that are here. Some new things are happening in 2017, hopefully, I’d say stay tuned for more information, said Mr. van Dijk.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is planning a celebration of life for Ken Fowler, however no date has been set at this time.