Hall of  

William A. V. Cecil (1928 -  )
Inducted 2005
     Grandson of Biltmore builder George W. Vanderbilt, William A. V. Cecil is a banker, who returned to Asheville in 1959 to run one of North Carolina's top tourism attraction — the Biltmore House.

 Junior Achievement
   Asheville-native William Cecil was born in 1928 at the Biltmore House.
   During the very end of World War II, he fought for England — his father was British while his mother was American. After the war, he attended Harvard University, graduating in 1952. He joined a New York City bank, serving as a banker in Washington, DC, and New York until 1959. He returned to North Carolina to run the Biltmore Company. The house and company with 100 employees were a money losing proposition, about $250,000 in losses a year. It took Bill Cecil almost a decade to finally turn a profit, the first year in the black (1968) totaled $16.24 profit. 
   It was his strategic plan which build the Biltmore House and Biltmore Company into a profitable enterprise and the house into America's most visited historic home. He began an advertising program in The Asheville Citizen-Times, as well as newspapers in Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and then, Orlando, FL, luring more and more visitors to America’s largest home.
   Up until 1984, the enterprises included just the house and Biltmore Dairies. Cecil created the Biltmore Estate Winery in 1985
   He retired as president of the Biltmore Company in 1995. The Biltmore operations then employed nearly a 1,000 people. 
   Appalachian State University awarded its tourism
Pioneer Award" in 2000 to William A.V. Cecil, Asheville, "who pioneered historic preservation through private enterprise by transforming Biltmore Estate into a world-class attraction."
   The Asheville Convention & Visitors' Bureau annually presents the William A.V. Cecil Leadership Award for outstanding management-level individual in the western North Carolina hospitality industry. 


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