Despite the challenging economic climate throughout the United States, Michigan-based General RV Center is preparing for another prosperous year, according to a report in the Macomb Daily, Mount Clemens, Mich.
In fact, General RV Center, one of the top RV retailers in the nation, projects $300 million in gross sales with plans to add more than 200 jobs between all of its locations and departments.
“By the time it’s all said and done, that number is actually closer to 300 new jobs,” said Dennis Anderson of General RV Center. “There are a lot of businesses that are starting to rebound in Michigan and the RV business has actually benefited lately.”
General RV Center boasts Michigan locations in Mount Clemens, White Lake, Wixom and Birch Run. It has nine locations nationally and plans to open another in Huntley, Ill., this spring. The Illinois location alone is expected to create 60 to 70 local jobs. In addition, three of General RV Center’s locations — North Canton, Ohio; Jackson, Fla.; and Salt Lake City, Utah — are expanding and adding 20 to 30 new positions at each property.
Anderson jokes that it’s magic, but in reality it’s the fact that people are choosing to stay closer to home on vacations and opting for RVs as the best way to go.
“New data is showing that young families are the fastest-growing group of RV owners,” he said. “I think there’s an overall shift in values among young families and RV vacations are an affordable way for families to spend time together.”
Anderson said people choose to travel by RV for several reasons — one of the greatest being cost.
“If you’re single, you’re probably not going to vacation in a RV,” he said. “If you have a family, though, it can get very expensive very quickly to pay for plane tickets and hotel rooms.
“A lot of people want to go on vacation but they don’t want to go thousands of miles away to do it,” he said. “They’d rather go 100 or 200 miles away so they not only don’t spend as much time traveling but they don’t have to spend as much money, either.”
According to the Macomb Daily, the increase in RV sales has forced a change in vacation destinations with many places creating special RV parks and hotels, including Las Vegas.
“Some of the RVs are like campers, but others are like having a home you just happen to travel with,” Anderson said. “There are different choices for everyone depending on exactly what it is they’re looking for.”
Richard Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan said recreation-vehicle shipments are projected to total 236,700 nationally for 2010, a gain of 42.8% from 2009 shipments.
“We want to promote the fact that there are good things going on not only in the country but here in Michigan as well,” Anderson said.