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A Resort Trades 30th Anniversary Salute
Tim Wilson - Founder/Publisher of Resort Trades
In honor of Resort Trades’ 30th anniversary, this month’s featured timeshare pioneer is its founder, Tim Wilson. Under his direction, The Trades has covered virtually every facet of the industry over the years and has earned a place in its history by bringing resort companies useful information to help enable them to deliver an excellent product.
“From an industry-oriented news and educational viewpoint,” says Tim, “at Resort Trades we recognize our unique position as the only media that connects with every resort, every month. It’s a big responsibility and one I take very seriously. We are the timeshare industry’s widest read and most respected, independent source of information, delivered to 6,000 industry insiders. We are proud of our long, un-interrupted history of publishing pieces that reflect what is accurately happening within our business.”
At a recent conference, he was the only individual who could say he’d been in the industry for more than 30 years. “I’m a survivor and I’m very proud of that,” he says. These days he has a list of accomplishments about which he is justifiably proud, although he’s characteristically too modest to boast about them. Quiet and reserved, you are more likely to find him at the back of a hall during presentations, rather than on the podium.
But his accomplishments speak for themselves. For one thing, he runs five successful corporations, three of which are connected to a unique, specialized retirement community exclusively serving a high-end, niche market of owners of RVs. The other two companies publish Resort Trades and Golf Course Trades (a buyer’s guide publication mailed to 19,955 golf course superintendents and readers each month), respectively.
These days, while Tim remains CEO of the two publications, he has handed the day-to-day management to others while he focuses on his very successful retirement community – The Gardens RV Village. Located in Crossville, Tennessee, The Gardens consists of customdesigned luxury houses attached to enclosed RV garages. Homeowners in The Gardens (currently numbering almost 400) typically drive coaches valued anywhere from $250,000 to $1- plus million. The community is unique in being one of only two or three similar projects in the country and none of this caliber and quality. “We not only survived through 2008-2012,” he says, “but ours was the only development in the region where property values actually increased during the recession!”
Learning From the Ground Up
After graduating with a degree in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1980, Wilson first entered the industry working for what was, at one time, one of the largest and and tract resort chains in the country, NACO. “I was hired as a civil engineer, initially, but I enjoyed taking on challenges and my role expanded accordingly. I enjoyed being an early adopter of new technology and was the first to bring the concept of using a computer to the company back when the only computers were home office mainframes. My position was secure, since I was the only guy who could produce spreadsheets at that time!” he quips.
Eventually, Tim assisted his father in developing one of the first timeshare resorts in Tennessee. In addition to utilizing his developmental background in building the property, Boardwalk on the Lake, he was called upon to lend a hand in virtually every facet of its development and later became the project director in charge of sales and marketing. “During the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville,” Tim reflects, “that resort experienced extremely heavy traffic because ours was the only computer in East Tennessee that wasn’t sitting in a bank!” (read more)
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