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Natural Awakenings Central Florida / Orlando

In Honor of Local Legend Ron Rice

Dave Hampton, Ron Rice & Paul Burke aka “The Boys of Summer”

Ron Rice, one of the legendary suntan lotion moguls, passed away May 19, 2022 at the age 81 in his hometown of Ormond Beach. He is fondly remembered by all who knew and worked with him.

Ron was one of the 3 original “Boys of Summer” Daytona Beach legends. Together with Dave Hampton (Sun Solutions), Ron Rice (Hawaiian Tropic), and Paul Burke (Native Tan), they grew to international prominence within the sun care industry. Starting during the innocence of the 1970s, they were lifeguards on the pools and beaches within the Daytona Beach area.

Back then there was only Coppertone and Sea & Ski products on the shelves. They started making suntan lotion in Ron Rice’s garage using a garbage can and broomstick to mix their formula!  After bottling the mixture, their products became a hit locally, and then an international success.

As time went by the three men went their separate ways and continued their friendship and good-natured “rivalries” to this day. They continued a healthy competitive relationship throughout the years through “guerilla” marketing.

Guerilla marketing is creating novel or unconventional methods to boost sales and/or create interest in a brand. Promotions of bikini contests, beach parties and many other activities became a magnet for spring breakers. These “Fun In The Sun” activities started here and grew worldwide. Electronic devices and social media did not exist. They succeeded with lots of “boots on the ground” work. As a result, each helped the other become stronger.

Ron was working on his autobiography at the time of his death, and it will be published posthumously. Additionally, the movie "Boys of Summer" detailing the adventures of these dynamic men has been delayed due to the COVID pandemic. However, work on the film will continue within a few months. Both Dave Hampton and Paul Burke are still very active in the sun care industry.

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