Forest River Inc. Allies with RV Rental Firms
Forest River Inc., Canada-based CanaDream Corp. and Australia-based Apollo Motorhomes announced Monday (Nov. 30) the emergence of AmeriDream — an RV rental venture positioned to capture significant market share and further promote the growth of RV tourism in the U.S.
“The venture provides an enormous benefit to our dealers and travelers here and abroad,” said Peter Liegl, Forest River president and CEO, in a news release. “Dealers within our network will be able to better manage their domestic booking and gain exposure to the lucrative international market virtually overnight. AmeriDream dealers will be able to seamlessly integrate the advanced systems and access the extensive international wholesale network behind the continual growth of CanaDream.”
Brian Gronberg, president and CEO of CanaDream Corp., said, “Being able to take advantage of the rapid growth of international RV travelers coming to America is the only way to maximize both utilization and nightly rates. Our systems, networks and Internet strategy will make AmeriDream the preferred RV vendor for the international audience.”
According to a study by Ypartnership titled “National Travel MONITOR,” 66% of U.S. leisure travelers now use the Internet to plan some aspect of their travel (versus 35% in 2000).
Industry forecasts indicate Forest River’s entrance into the RV rental market is opportune. In what is considered to be a down market, the Recreational Vehicle Rental Association (RVRA), reports rental activity will be up 12% this year.
AmeriDream enters a market dominated by Cruise America and El Monte RV.
Forest River is a leading manufacturer of leisure vehicles in the United States, based in Elkhart, Ind. Founded in 1996 by Liegl, it has grown into a company of 5,500 employees and 71 facilities throughout the nation. In 2005, the company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Berkshire Hathaway is headquartered in Omaha, Neb.
CanaDream is one of the largest RV rental companies in Canada. The company operates a fleet of approximately 700 units from nine gateway cities across the nation. CanaDream’s leadership position has been achieved through a combination of substantial investments in proprietary technology related to its operations, its extensive international wholesale network and the upgrading and maintenance of its rental fleet. CanaDream is publicly traded (symbol: CDN) on the Canadian Venture Exchange.
Apollo is the largest privately owned leisure vehicle operator in the Southern Hemisphere with a fleet of over 3,000 vehicles and 300 employees. It has 10 branches in Australia, two in New Zealand and three in the U.S.