STEVENSVILLE — John H. Wilson, the original developer of the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, was remembered by staff and management as a man of vision and kindness following his death Wednesday, March 18.
Wilson, who started developing the Kent Island campus in 1998, imagined a destination for guests looking for an elegant and relaxing escape on the Eastern Shore.
A successful 22 years later, the Beach Club still is one of the crown jewels in the Queen Anne’s County economic and tourism development portfolio.
According to a social media post by the club, “it is with great sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of John H. Wilson. He was our inspiration, our leader and a true visionary. His compassion, kindness and warm smile will be missed by so many.”
The post goes further to say “the management and staff of our company, including Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, The Inn, Knoxie’s Table, The Market, and The Spa along with the Tidewater Inn and Hunters’ Tavern will work tirelessly to ensure that his vision will continue to thrive and grow.”
The Beach Club recalled Wilson’s motto that these properties were “in the celebration business” and noted while this is a difficulty time, these businesses will honor Wilson when they return to a more jovial spirit.
“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words, well wishes and prayers. Please keep the Wilson family in your thoughts during this difficult time,” the Beach Club wrote.
After graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Wilson joined his family in opening Wilson’s Garden Center in Columbia. His first major development was Henderson’s Wharf in Baltimore City, costing $27 million.
The master plan included condos, an inn and a marina within historic warehouses prevalent in the area.
Coastal South, Wilson’s company, then acquired six acres of land and developed the beach club to provide a waterfront locale hosting wedding receptions, and corporate and social gatherings.
During the 2016 ribbon-cutting of the campus’ spa, Wilson said he thought the county “was welcoming and great with whom to work.”