Britt More, one of the owners of More, will be remembered for her kindness and passion. She died on Sunday after she was hit by a car on her morning run. She was rushed to hospital but unfortunately succumbed to her injuries.
Britt came from modest beginnings, paying for her university textbooks with modelling fees, but would go on to found one of the leading boutique safari lodge and city hotel companies.
A cum laude Law graduate from the University of Witwatersrand, Britt took a job in the sales department at Protea Hotels at the age of 25, despite offers to join several leading law firms. The move was partly because she needed a car, but also because she was wary of her prospects of making a difference in the legal profession.
Within two months, she was running the regional sales force at Protea Hotels and two years later, at only 27, she headed up the entire national sales team. She was later appointed to manage its international sales arm, expanding its reach into Southern Africa. When Protea Hotels launched its upmarket African Pride brand in 2001, Britt was responsible for putting together a business plan and creating a sales team.
It was at this time that Britt, then van Niekerk, met Robert More at Lion Sands, which was looking to sign a deal with African Pride. The two worked late nights to develop a sales and marketing plan for Lion Sands and Ivory Lodge. Two years later, they started dating and a year later they were married. In 2005, Britt left Protea Hotels to join her husband’s family business.
In 2010, Britt and Robert, together with Peter John Scott, launched More Hotels, a boutique hotel operations management company that would later be rebranded More. Today the portfolio includes luxury properties such as Lion Sands Game Reserve; Marataba Trails Lodge; Madikwe Safari Lodge; Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel and More Quarters.
Sheree Simpson, Director at Africa in Your Hands, described Britt as the kindest person she knew, with the biggest heart. “She was an inspiration to everyone she knew,” said Simpson, adding that Britt was a humble person who didn’t realise the tremendous impact she had on the industry.
Britt never complained, said Simpson, but was incredibly positive and full of life. She always put others ahead of herself and her family meant the world to her. She also cared deeply for the various charities she worked for and had a deep love for animals and people. Simpson added that she was an unassuming and genuine person.
“I am lucky, privileged and honoured to have been her friend and confidante,” said Simpson. “She taught so much to so many people. The industry has lost a legend.”
Britt’s selfless nature was also emphasised by Hilton Walker, Sales and Reservations Director at Great Plains Conservation, who described her as one of the gentlest souls. Professionally, he said she was very dedicated and conscientious. He also described her as a “shining light” and a “role model”. “She always saw the positive in everything, which is probably one of the things that made people gravitate towards her.” He said her passing was a great loss to her friends, colleagues and the industry at large.
“We are greatly saddened by this tragic news and would like to express our most heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Satsa team and our members. Britt was an exceptionally insightful and clear-thinking individual, who was always able to provide a very interesting strategic view during various Satsa workshops and forums,” said David Frost, CEO of Satsa. “This is a huge loss, not only to the More family, but to the extended tourism family as well and our thoughts are with all her loved ones through this extremely difficult time. The world is a much poorer place without her in it.”
Britt is survived by her husband, Robert, and their seven-year-old twins Mackenzie and Madison as well as her parents, Cecilia and Van, and her sisters Taryn, Lynn and Liezl. Robert said the family had been completely overwhelmed by the support they had received and were taking time to come to terms with the loss.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 15h00 at St Martin in the Veld, followed by a celebration of her life at 16h00 at Johannesburg Country Club, Auckland Park.