Lifetime Achievement Alumni 1997 George Yerich Sr.

Join us as we a look back at our Lifetime Achievement Award alumni of the past 25 years. These outstanding individuals have truly left an indelible mark on Niagara and have inspired countless other entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Niagara.

Over the last 24 years, NEYA has inducted 33 entrepreneurs into our Hall of Fame by bestowing them with this prestigious recognition. Click here to see a complete list of our Lifetime Achievement Alumni and join us on March 1, 2019 as we bestow a new group of deserving entrepreneurs with this honour at our 25th Anniversary Awards Gala at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Tickets for the 25th annual Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala to be held March 1, 2019 at the Fallsview Casino Resort are now on sale. Tickets are limited, so order early!


George grew up in the tourism business. His father Payne brought a parcel of land at the Queen Elizabeth Highway and Stanley Avenue in the depths of the depression building a cabin-style motel and restaurant, which he called the Holiday Inn. Now it’s a giant US chain though use of the name in Niagara Falls belongs to the Yerich family.

George joined the family business after receiving a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. The cabins are now a modern roadside motel, and the family soon purchased an adjacent motel. In 1965 the family build a 77 room hotel just above Niagara Falls on Murray Hill, which has expanded three times and was the 122 room hotel just about Niagara Falls. George’s wife Violet and children George Junior, Michael and Catharine joined the growing business and in 1986 the family purchased the Skylon Tower.

At the time of award, they were developing to residential subdivision in the Black Creek area and Fort Erie.

Other projects included a major motorsport facility, a lease on Pyramid Place, purchase of the Cascade Inn, a huge hotel and entertainment complex development at the base of Skylon tower.

Yerich has long been actively in charge of the work and community affairs and in the promotion of tourism in Niagara and he was a founding member of the Niagara Resort and Tourism Association. A forerunner of the Visitors and Convention Bureau, he was active in bringing a casino to Niagara. His businesses employ 500 people in season; some of which started with him forty years ago.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to enterprising entrepreneurs in our community who have significantly impacted the development of economic ventures in Niagara. Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients are individuals who have spent several decades of their lives shaping Niagara, building a legacy, and contributing positively to our community. Save the date and join us on March 1, 2019 for NEYA’s 25th Anniversary Awards Gala.