THE Octopus Club Resort family in Waya, Yasawa, is mourning the loss of resort co-founder Wolfgang Denk who died of cancer in Austria.
According to Edward Benet, who once met the deceased in 1993 while working in a charitable group known as Words for the World, said the late Mr Denk contributed to the rise of the tourism industry.
He said in 1993, the deceased and partner Ingrid Gradinger built a small resort on Likuliku Bay, named by Conde Nast magazine as having one of the world's best beaches.
"He also designed and built several guest bure and a large restaurant as well as a water holding tank high up on Waya's Mt Vatunareba," said Mr Benet.
"With several miles of pipeline laid by hand, he was able to supply ample fresh water both to his resort and to neighbouring Naluwaki Village. After six years, Denk and Gradinger sold their interest in the resort, with Denk returning to Vienna and Gradinger remaining in Fiji to own and operate her own resorts.
"The deceased held a hospitality diploma from Vienna, and went on to supervise start-ups of restaurants and hotels in such far-away locations as Mongolia, Bulgaria and Namibia."