Campers Inn, an RV dealership based in New Hampshire, has opened for business in Elkhart, Ind.
The opening marks the family-owned company’s sixth location in the U.S. and the first dealership off the East Coast, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Scott Hayden, director of operations, said the company is thrilled to open a location in the “RV capital of the world.”
“Keeping this area alive and moving is important to us,” Hayden said. “The truth is, we were extremely impressed with the growth potential this area has, especially amongst the recession.”
He expects a slower startup than usual and is only hiring a total of 10 people, but hopes to have 40 to 50 employees when the economy picks back up.
Campers Inn will focus on sales, service and parts for Forest River Inc. brands and is in the former facility of Michiana RV on Cassopolis Sreett.
Two million dollars was spent acquiring the building, and another $5 million purchasing inventory for the location, he said.
“We’re in it to win it,” Hayden said. “We hope to make this our flagship store.”
Other sales locations are in Kingston, N.H., Leesburg, Fla., Merrimack, N.H., Raynham, Mass., and Macon, Ga. The dealership is owned by Jeff Hirsch. The dealership has been honored by RVBusiness magazine as a Top 50 RV Dealer.
Campers Inn had been looking to expand in Elkhart for the last year, but didn’t start aggressively pursuing the area until about 90 days ago.
Hayden said Elkhart city officials bent over backward in helping the company with the application and zoning process.
“They were very welcoming and excited to have us,” Hayden said.
He’s confident that Campers Inn can establish itself as one of the premier RV dealerships in this area.
Northern Indiana is still a very viable RV market, he said.
“The RV industry didn’t close down here,” Hayden said. “It just took a vacation.”