Wilson Family History

The Vacation That Changed The Way America Travels

In 1951, Kemmons Wilson took a trip to Washington D.C. from Memphis, TN with his wife and five children. Getting tired along the way, they stopped at a roadside motel for the night. Remember, during this time, there were no hotels or highway infrastructure complete. The face of America was changing.

The room was $6.00 per night. Kemmons was then told he must pay $2.00 for each child. It was at this moment that Wilson said to his wife Dorothy, “I’m going to start a hotel where kids stay free…”
The rest, as they say, is history! The Holiday Inn was born and they way people traveled was changed forever. Kemmons Wilson had started an international empire and revolutionized the modern motor-inn industry.

Kemmons Wilson worked every day until his death in early 2003. He built a diverse portfolio of business and property holdings, Kemmons Wilson Companies, which he presided over. One of these divisions is Wilson Air Centers, which incorporate the very philosophies and ideals that were the very mainstay of the Holiday Inn concept.


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