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Brian Alkon (1946-2023): hotelier, realtor, businessman

Brian Alkon

The proprietor of a South Shore resort who reinvented himself as a realtor with the changing currents of the island’s tourism industry has been mourned by friends at the Bermuda Hotel Association.

Brian Alkon, from Philadelphia, spent much of his life in Bermuda and ran the Mermaid Beach Club in Warwick with his family.

Stephen Todd, the BHA chief executive, said hoteliers were saddened at news of his passing.

“Brian was for several years a valued member of the BHA,” Mr Todd said, noting the Mermaid Beach’s heyday as “a very popular guest property, along with their restaurant and bar, the Jolly Lobster”.

The hotel hosted chess tournaments that brought international players to Bermuda through the 1990s, prompted by the rising success Mr Alkon’s son, Shimon, at the game.

Mr Alkon held ownership of the Mermaid Beach with his wife, Maxine, since the 1970s.

Commanding pristine coastline and private beachfront, the resort rode high during Bermuda tourism’s prime.

It began to give way to condominiums with the approval of The Breakers development in 1997.

The Alkons also owned several companies in property, construction, catering and security.

Mr Todd said: “Upon the closure of the property, Brian turned his attention to pursuing a real-estate business, remaining very active in the local community.”

A keen tennis and football player at Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he studied marketing, Mr Alkon met a Bermudian student there, Maxine Mathias.

The couple married. As well as Shimon, they had a second son, Maxim, who died in 2021.

Mr Alkon described Bermuda to the college magazine as “an island paradise, as close to Utopia as any place on earth is likely to get”.

He had pursued other business interests before hospitality in Bermuda proved a hit.

The Mermaid Beach had started as a condo development, but the Alkons set about building it into a resort after buying one of the units and seeing the property’s potential.

In 1994, looking elsewhere, Mr Alkon sought to bring competition to Bermuda’s telecommunications sector with the firm Bermuda Global Access.

It was part of a mid-1990s wave to break up telecom monopolies on the island, but the company was ultimately among the contenders turned down by regulators.

Real estate ended up as Mr Alkon’s next success in the 21st century, with his realty firm building and selling units as well as brokering the sale of high-end properties.

Along with his wife, Mr Alkon is survived by his son, Shimon, and sister Judy, as well as extended family.

• Brian Stephen Alkon, a hotelier and realtor in Bermuda, was born on January 9, 1946. He died on April 29, 2023, aged 77

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Published May 29, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated May 29, 2023 at 7:31 am)

Brian Alkon (1946-2023): hotelier, realtor, businessman

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