Each year nominations are received from chambers of commerce and cities across the Rio Grande Valley for recognition in the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame at State Farm Arena, sponsored by the City of Hidalgo in conjunction with BorderFest. Nominees are considered for induction based on their life achievements and significant civic contributions.
The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce nominated longtime chamber member and Island business owner Doyle Wells to the RGV Walk of Fame for 2019. Wells was selected for this great honor and was recognized at the official induction ceremonies on February 27, 2019 at State Farm Arena.
Doyle Wells is living proof that a person can grow up in the Valley, earn an education, serve in the military and become a successful family man and business entrepreneur. YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEAVE THE VALLEY TO BE SUCCESSFUL!! In 1930, his family left Indiana and headed as far south as they could travel and ended their journey in Port Isabel, Texas. Doyle was born 16 years later in Brownsville and was raised in Port Isabel/South Padre. He graduated from Port Isabel High School in 1964.
As a young man Wells acquired a strong work ethic working aside his family in a bait, tackle and fishing business. He earned his Captain’s license in 1965 and chartered at the Sea Ranch Marina. He came from humble beginnings saying “we had nothing, but we had everything” speaking of his supportive family and the vast opportunities the Valley provided.
After four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, in 1970, Wells went to work for Solomar Lodge as a Charter Captain and Hunting Guide. In 1971, he became Ranch Operations Manager for the Harry Cullen Family for their holdings on South Padre Island.
As a lifelong resident of the lower Rio Grande Valley, Doyle Wells has a strong pride in his South Texas heritage and is quick to promote the abundance of opportunities the Valley has available. Wells has contributed significantly to the development of our area’s tourism industry. He continues today to promote recreational and tourism development, leading by example to deliver “the best experience and the best service”.
1982 was the start of Wells Farm and Ranch Supply in Los Fresnos, and at the same time Wells opened Wells Stables. Then, in 1989, he opened Island Equestrian Center on South Padre Island. After moving his stables several times over the years, in 2012 Wells settled at his current location at the north end of the Island and became Island Adventure Park. He expanded his services which now include horseback riding on the beach, zip lines, petting barn and beach events and activities limited only by your imagination. Recently Wells opened a second bayside location on Padre Blvd. where he offers go-cart racing and miniature golf.
In the 1970’s Wells served on the volunteer fire departments for both Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Also, for much of the 1980’s Wells was a Director for the Texas International Fishing Tournament. He was a founding Director for the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce in 1989 and served until 2000 when he was elected as an Alderman for the Town of South Padre Island, serving two terms through 2004. While Wells was Alderman he led a group of local business leaders on a cultural exchange to establish a Sister City relationship with Catamaco, Mexico. Additionally, Wells was actively involved with South Padre Island recovery efforts following the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway.
Wells was appointed in 1999 by Cameron County Commissioners to serve on the Cameron County Beach and Dunes Commission and served until 2017. Commissioners also appointed him, in 2006, to serve on the Cameron County Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustments, where he continues to serve today. Wells was elected to the Laguna Madre Water District where he served 2015 to 2018.
Doyle and his wife Delores are active supporters of The Friends of Animal Rescue on South Padre Island and are loving pet owners. Doyle has served on the Regional Board for Equine Therapy, and over the years, has rescued many horses from slaughter, caring for them and returning them to a health.
Wells also served on the Board of Directors for Sea Turtle Inc. about 1996-2000 where he worked closely with Founder Ila Loetscher to promote sea turtle conservation.
Doyle is the son of Junior Wells and Bobby Wells. He is married to his beautiful wife Dolores Ferrentino Wells, and he has three adult children Doyle Wells IV, Brennan Wells and Kelsey Garcia.