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Sir Reo Stakis

(Argiros Anastasis)

1913 - 2001

Hotel and casino chain owner. Born Argiros Anastasis in Cyprus, Stakis left for Britain at the age of 14. He began selling his mother's lace door-to-door and soon moved north to Glasgow. By the 1940s Stakis was involved in his first restaurant, the Victory in Glasgow, with affordable prices which began to change the way Scottish people ate out. By the 1960s, he had a chain of thirty restaurants and hotels throughout Scotland. In 1962, he bought the Dunblane Hydro Hotel, which was run-down yet within six months he had returned it to profit. Stakis was to make his home in the grounds of that hotel.

He opened Scotland's first casino, the Chevalier, in 1964 and through time added several other casinos to the Stakis group. However, his flagship hotel, The Grosvenor, was destroyed by fire in 1978. He was knighted in 1988. By that time Stakis' son Andros had taken over the business and in difficult trading conditions some poor decisions brought the company close to bankruptcy. However, new management brought renewed profitability and Stakis was able to sell his empire to the Hilton Group in 1999 for £1.2 billion.

Stakis was a generous benefactor to the Greek Orthodox church in Glasgow, funding the purchase of both their first church in the city in 1953 and their Cathedral of St. Luke the Evangelist in 1960.

He died in Stirling Royal Infirmary and lies buried in Dunblane cemetery.

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