Sander van Gelder, a Dutch businessman who was one of the owners and a major driver of resort Vale do Lobo, died this Sunday, May 14, at the age of 85.
According to “Portugal Resident” newspaper, van Gelder died in Holland.
The businessman led the resort luxury resort of Vale do Lobo, which was founded in 1962, for more than 30 years: from 1977 to 2007.
Van Gelder discovered Vale do Lobo, on the coast of the municipality of Loulé, during a holiday in the 1970s, and soon fell in love with the place, moving to Portugal, permanently, in 1977.
In the year 2007, van Gelder sold the resort to a group of Portuguese investors, including Caixa Geral de Depósitos.
In a note published on social media, the resort already mourned the death of the «visionary owner of Vale do Lobo».
“A truly exceptional person has passed away. We must honor and remember the extraordinary Mr. Sander van Gelder, as the dear “father” and visionary behind the Vale do Lobo Resort», it reads.
“The dedication, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of Mr. van Gelder were the driving forces behind the remarkable success of Vale do Lobo. With his unrivaled vision, he conceived a community that blended luxury, natural beauty and a vibrant lifestyle. For three decades, Mr. van Gelder guided Vale do Lobo with unwavering commitment, fostering its growth and transforming not only the site, but also the entire Algarve region into a world-renowned destination", he adds.