Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kemmons Wilson

Kemmons Wilson (1919-2003) was an entrepreneur best know for his motel chain, Holiday Inn.

Wilson's success story is one of struggle. His entrepreneurial pursuit began in the middle of the Great Depression which proved the ultimate test of his ability. Wilson's recipe for success is one familiar to many successful entrepreneurs - he increased his profits gradually while re-investing his earnings into greater capital along the way. Beginning with popcorn sales, he moved on to jukeboxes and eventually construction and real estate ventures. In each endeavor, Wilson's competitive edge secured his place in the market.

Wilson introduced the first Holiday Inn in the early 1950s and began expanding his operations alongside the construction of the U.S. interstate system. By the end of the 1950s, Wilson's motel chain had spread across the nation; by mid-1970s, the world.

Wilson eventually sold the Holiday Inn chain and founded a series of corporations now operated by his family under the umbrella of Kemmons Wilson Co. in Memphis, Tennessee.

Sources:

New York Times

BusinessWeek

Wikipedia

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