Dr. Richard Kelley, a significant figure in Hawaii’s tourism industry, dies at 88

He also spearheaded the creation of Hawaii's Convention Center in Waikiki.
Published: Feb. 27, 2022 at 7:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dr. Richard Roy Kelley, who headed Outrigger Hotels and Resorts for decades and served as a significant figure in Hawaii’s tourism industry, has died at age 88.

Kelley, who had a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, died Feb. 24.

Kelley, who was also an accomplished medical doctor, grew up working in his parents’ hotels. And once they eased toward retirement, Kelley found himself picking up the reins.

Through his leadership, Outrigger became the state’s largest and most diverse hotel company.

He also spearheaded the creation of Hawaii’s Convention Center in Waikiki

For years, he wrote and spoke about the importance of tourism to our state’s economy.

His family and colleagues say Kelley was optimistic, personable, and always had a positive attitude.

“He was a visionary, so he liked to look forward into the future and then work together with people to achieve that vision,” said Kelley’s son, Chuck. “He had amazing people skills, and he just loved working on a problem together for everybody’s benefit.”

Kelley loved being in the water whether it was surfing, sailing, or fishing.

Above all, those who loved him say he was a true family man.

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