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Bill Child

From Home Décor to Hawaiian Resort

Kris Millgate | Photo courtesy of Bill Child Mar 15, 2019

Inventory your home. Chances are you have something to eat at, sit on or sleep in that came from RC Willey Home Furnishings. Now, at 86, the “retired” businessman who led the company for 40 years has added a Hawaiian resort to his portfolio.

“I’m not really retired,” says William “Bill” Child, RC Willey board chair. “I haven’t played golf for a year.”

Home Décor

Child, a 1954 University of Utah graduate, had no desire to run a furniture business. He wanted to be a teacher, but when his father-in-law, Rufus Call “RC” Willey died of cancer, he took over the family’s deeply-in-debt appliance store.

During a span of 40 years, Child’s tenacity created a profitable company that grew from one employee to 3,000. By the time he sold RC Willey in 1995 to Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the world, he handed over a business with 12 stores, 3,000 associates and sales approaching $900 million. 

 

Child received stock in Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. when he sold RC Willey. Those stocks carried his next business venture, Koloa Landing Resort on the beautiful island of Kauai, when the recession hit in 2008. 

“The financial world collapsed with the recession,” Child says. “Real estate dropped. The stock market losses were huge. My choices were limited because banks would not loan on condominiums.”

Child went to Zions Bank where he was given a loan conditional on borrowing against his financial statement including Berkshire Stock. Because condominiums were not selling, Child and his partners transformed the property into a full resort.   

Hawaiian Resort

Child and his wife, Pat, spent one week every other month for several years in Hawaii overseeing the growth of the resort. In late 2017, their efforts paid off. The nice but not too-big resort on Kauai started turning a profit, and Pat started breathing easy.

“She was very nervous,” Child says. “We’d been through this 40 years ago with RC Willey so I felt like we could do it. We didn’t want to fail, but it meant risking all we’d worked for. It was worth it in the long run, but I would not want to go through it again. Twice is enough.”

The resort contains 306 condominiums on 20 acres of lush landscaping with three swimming pools, spa, convention center and full-service poolside grill.

In 2017, Child affiliated the resort with Marriott, becoming part of its high-end Autograph Collection. The property’s condominium units are perfect for families. Each has kitchen facilities, a washer and dryer, and a living room area. The grounds boast open space including a putting green, soccer field and grass volleyball court.

Child is pleased with the beauty of the resort and loves sharing it with friends and associates. He offers a friends and family rate for acquaintances including Zions Bank customers and associates. For more information visit www.AlohaUtah.com. For special rates for Zions Bank customers call 808-240-6600.

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