1997 Lifetime Achievement Award George Yerich Sr.

Skylon Tower

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.


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Lifetime Achievement Award Alumni

Paul House

Tim Hortons

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award

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John Howard

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Bill Goertz and the late Abraham (Ed) Regier

Niagara Credit Union

2003 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Ed Werner

Horn Abbot Ltd.

2000 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The late Adriaan Olsthoorn

Lakeshore Inc.

1999 Lifetime Achievement Award

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John and Millicent Gruyich

Michael’s Inn

1999 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Jack Berkhout

Land Development

1998 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Donald Ziraldo

Inniskillin Wines Inc.

1998 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The late Louis J. Cahill

OEB International

1996 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The late John Holer

Marineland of Canada Inc.

1996 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The late Roy Cairns

1995 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The late Ken Fowler

1995 Lifetime Achievement Award

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The late Edward J. Freeland

1995 Lifetime Achievement Award

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