By Jim Denton
May 9, 2024

Impact on Edmond: Victor Neal & Prime Time Travel

From London blitz to Edmond's travel scene, Victor Neal's story is as fascinating as the tours he curates.
Victor Neal with Prime Time Travel in Edmond (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Born at St. Alfege’s Hospital in London during the endless, hellacious Luftwaffe assaults of Britain in the Second World War, Prime Time Travel owner Victor Neal muses that he was “on time! Ever since, I’ve been on time!” Neal’s whole family, including daughters Charlotte and Camilla, are all punctual in everything. “Time means something to me,” explained the octogenarian, Edmond travel agent.

Prime Time Travel – a full-service travel agency

Prime Time Travel got its start in 1980 when the owners of OKC-based Sirloin Stockade needed to book airline flights for their family and personnel to oversee their portfolio of eateries. At that time, air tickets were more expensive, and the commission structure of the industry made owning a travel agency a profitable lifestyle enterprise.

The agency grew quickly during the 80s and had multiple locations around the metro area, including a lounge at Will Rogers World Airport. Prime Time Travel still provides air tickets, ground accommodation, and services to its customers from its office at 101 E Hurd Street in Edmond.

Prime Tours, now a subsidiary of Prime Time Travel, was a separate business started by Victor Neal in the 1990s, which provides tour planning services for its clients. For example, this summer, he is taking a group on a two-week trip called the Back Roads of Britain & Ireland. This once-in-a-generation tour leads his travelers to the Isle of Man, North Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Liverpool (for a Beatles tour), then winds up in London for several days of sightseeing. That trip starts June 30, 2024, and returns on July 14, 2024.

The agency happily accommodates travelers who can’t spend two weeks by arranging partial segments of the longer voyage. He also customizes trips all over the world for his clients, specializing in European and Australian travel. 

Love at first sound

“I grew up in London,” Neal replied when I asked him where he was reared, “but the Labor Party got into power and raised the income taxes to 60 percent, and my family moved to the Isle of Man where it was only 10 percent.” The Isle of Man (a British Crown dependency) is in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland.

“I was brought up Catholic. My mom was in a Catholic family from southern Ireland. My great-grandfather was a fisherman from a town on Ring of Kerry, Ireland. They moved there because they were working for the Crown (British government). The Neals (his father’s family) lived in Brighton,” he explained. Victor recalled that his mom and dad had jobs as waiters at the Metropolitan Hotel in Brighton, where they met.

Victor was employed as a travel agent in Paddington, London. He recalled a time when he oversaw large tour groups, including bookings for the British Commonwealth games in Brisbane, Australia. Flying 400 athletes and their supporting cast on a Quantis 747 in 1977 was a highlight of his early career!

Inquiring about how Victor got to Edmond, he replied with one word: “female.” Victor elaborated that he was initially seeing a lady, and she was from Edmond. He followed her here. It didn’t work out for the two.

It did work with the love of his life, Marlene. Victor was visiting a singles class function at Quail Springs Church of Christ. He heard her voice around a partition. She heard his voice as well. It was love at first sound. They were married for many years until Victor lost Marlene about ten years ago.

Regardless of his original reason for coming to Edmond, he soon joined the team at Prime Time Travel. He shared, “When I came to Edmond, they didn’t have anybody like me. I started with Prime Time Travel in 1992, and the boss said I cost the agency $5,000 that year.

Since then, Neal claims that he has always made the agency money. “Even when 9/11 happened and the volcano in Iceland happened, the agency made money on me.”

Neal acquired 51% of the Prime Tours business in 2010 and then merged with Prime Time Travel. The two businesses are good at supporting each other with the changing business cycles. This brings some stability to a leisure type of business.

Sage advice

Victor’s biggest concern for Prime Time is finding the right employees. It’s a hard business to learn, and it takes several years to get competent and comfortable with the technology and terminology. “Each year at Rotary, we offer career shadowing (as a travel agent), and no one is interested.” He concludes that some students are not sure what a travel agent is and what is involved in providing leisure services. “It’s a great business!”

I asked Victor for some advice for young people who are just starting in the business world. His response was axiomatic. “Work long hours, it doesn’t come easy, never cut corners, keep your promises, be honest, don’t rip people off, always get customers the best deal, and don’t be afraid to work hard” all came to his mind quickly.

Brighton loyal

Football (soccer) is his guilty pleasure. Neal is a “foreign member” of Brighton (Brighton & Hove Albion FC) and can watch practically every match on either Netflix or ESPN-Plus. Currently in ninth place, Neal is not optimistic about Brighton’s chances to be in next season’s ‘Champions League’ as only the top four clubs qualify.

Victor relishes every chance to visit Britain and especially see his two granddaughters on the Isle of Man and Guernsey. He and I agreed that being a grandparent “is the best.”

Victor recapped our chat by saying, “I am so blessed to be here in Oklahoma. All the things that drove me here had to happen. I believe that God has a plan. Maybe it’s already been executed. I don’t know.”

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About Jim Denton

Jim Denton, CPA/PFS, CGMA is Partner Emeritus of Arledge & Associates, PC where he is responsible for providing leadership to the firm’s Wealth Management firm, Summit Capital Advisors, LLC. Mr. Denton empowers his clients, so they may live their best life. He may be reached by email at

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