Scottsdale Plaza Resort announces passing of chairman John W. Dawson


It is with deepest sorrow we announce the passing of John W. Dawson.

John W. Dawson

Mr. Dawson led a storied and accomplished life. John W. Dawson was chairman & CEO, and founder of The Dawson Companies, Ltd. in Scottsdale, Arizona and owner of The Scottsdale Plaza Resort.

Mr. Dawson has been a real estate executive, builder, resort and travel services executive since 1964. His career has included the development, construction and operation of apartment communities, single-family homes, office buildings, shopping centers, hotels and resorts.

Mr. Dawson began his resort enterprise back in 1976 when his company was retained to manage and subsequently purchased the Sheraton Scottsdale Inn and Villas. In 1981, the 20-acre property underwent a $2 million renovation of the then 260 rooms and public spaces and was renamed the Sheraton Scottsdale Resort. In 1985, a $40 million renovation expanded the property to 404 rooms on 40 acres with 30,000 square feet of meeting space and was later renamed The Scottsdale Plaza Resort after going independent and dropping the Sheraton flag.

Mr. Dawson had assumed an ambassador role the past several years. Management of The Dawson Companies have been overseen by David Lunt the President and CEO of The Scottsdale Plaza Resort.

“His leadership, guidance and friendship will be desperately missed. We will continue to operate the resort with the highest level of standards he expected from us and continue to carry the legacy he has accomplished.” said Lunt.

Mr. Dawson was a life member of the Fiesta Bowl Committee. He previously served as: director of the Maricopa Division of the American Heart Association, Arizona Affiliate; Board of Directors of the Goldwater Institute; the Board of Directors of the Phoenix and Valley of the Sun Convention and Visitors Bureau; director of the Valley Innkeepers Association; and held leadership roles in many more prestigious organizations.

The John Dawson Foundation was formed in 2000. The foundation’s mission is to promote the values of free enterprise, education, limited government, health care delivery and a strong national defense, and is a contributor to St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Barrow Neurological Institute and its Craniofacial Center.

The Scottsdale Plaza Resort will host a gathering commemorating the life of the legendary Mr. John W. Dawson, Saturday Oct. 19.

Please join us at 11 a.m. Saturday Oct. 19 at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort Grand Ballroom, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road.

Editor’s Note: Scottsdale Plaza Resort submitted this obituary.