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Tim Wilson: 30 years after launching Golf Course Trades

30th Anniversary of Golf Course Trades Magazine

In honor of Golf Course Trades’ 30th anniversary, we thought we’d share a little bit with you about Tim Wilson, founder of The Trades Publishing Company. (Besides, it never hurts to suck up to the boss!)

Tim became a publisher after a somewhat circuitous route. In the early ‘80s, he was developing a resort and golf course on the lovely Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. At one point he was desperately seeking a vendor for an item needed at the property when he realized that the supplier of what he was seeking could not afford even a tiny ad in the shiny fancy-schmancy resort industry magazine of the day. After completing his contract as a developer and considering what to do next, he hit on the idea of launching a monthly, low-key publication that would be of interest to readers, while still offering advertising opportunities at affordable prices. Thus,…the birth of Resort Trades magazine in 1987, which took off like a rocket.

Encouraged by his early success as a publisher, Tim then launched Golf Course Trades in 1990 to simply serve as a buyer’s guide. The Trades has upped its game in many ways over the years. We were early to the party at the advent of the Internet with a website that would provide interesting editorial content as well as advertising. The site became so popular with golf course superintendents and directors looking for equipment, services, and supplies, that Tim added a special Business Directory.

Earlier this year, we acquired a state-of-the-art platform to support our Business Directory’s growing demand. Using our sophisticated new system, superintendents can review the latest offerings of vendors seeking their business. They are able to see photos, obtain descriptions, and link to a supplier’s website. Its ease of use make it an effective tool for both buyers and sellers. It’s a well acknowledged shortcut for viewing what’s available at the very moment an item or service is needed.

Superintendents are able to stay current with events in their industry and have an opportunity to get the insider scoop about how their peers are handling challenges.

“From industry-oriented news and educational viewpoint,” says Tim, “at Golf Course Trades we recognize our unique position as the only print publication that connects with every golf course in the U.S., every month. It’s a big responsibility and one I take very seriously. We are perhaps the only independent source of information for golf course superintendents around, anymore. We are proud of our long, uninterrupted history of publishing pieces that reflect what is accurately happening within our business.”

As we celebrate our 30th, we greatly value our customers trust and confidence and sincerely appreciate your loyalty to our business. We acknowledge that without YOU, there would not be a Golf Course Trades.

Thank you from the depths of our hearts and sincerest thanks for your valued business. We are looking forward to introducing you to NEW and improved products on the horizon, adding greater value and ROI to your investment. Our teams are consistently working on ways to improve your marketing exposure. Your business is greatly appreciated.

After 30 successful years in the business, you’d think Tim might be ready to begin to settle down. After all, 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 (which is mailed to 19,955 golf course superintendents and readers each month).

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 custom-designed luxury houses attached to enclosed RV garages. (Did I mention that Crossville is known as The Golf Capitol of Tennessee?) Homeowners in The Gardens (currently numbering almost 400) typically drive coaches valued anywhere from $250,000 to $1-plus million. “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!”

Thirty Years and Still Kickin’

“My first wholly owned business venture still remains near and dear to my heart,” he exclaims. “The Trades has become an independent – and more importantly – an unbiased source of industry information.”

These days, while he has consigned the role of publisher over to his wife, Sharon Wilson, Tim is still involved in expanding the publication’s depth and reach. “Lately, we’ve been having a lot of fun developing our digital products and are avidly employing internet marketing and social media to assist advertisers. And I believe that our two magazines – Golf Course Trades and Resort Trades – will continue to assist readers in making wise business decisions that will, in turn, serve their consumers better.”

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