Lazydays Lays Off 50, Eyes Arizona Opening

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June 15, 2011 by   Comments Off on Lazydays Lays Off 50, Eyes Arizona Opening

The Lazydays RV empire is about to get much bigger, though with fewer people, according to a report in the Tampa Tribune.

The RV dealer has purchased a major RV site in Arizona and plans to open that Western outpost by autumn. The deal is happening as the company decided to lay off workers in Tampa.

Lazydays officials paid $9.5 million to purchase the 86-acre Beaudry RV compound in Tucson, Ariz.. The operation had fallen into receivership amid the economic downturn.

“Just like Disney did when they opened in California, we’re doing the same thing with RVs,” said Randy Lay, chief financial officer of Lazydays, which still ranks as the nation’s largest single-site RV dealership. The Tucson site will rank as No. 2, Lay said, and comes complete with a dealership, service area and campground.

The now-former Beaudry site stood out in the RV market as a luxury property, with hot tubs at each camp site and occasional visits from a symphony orchestra. Lazydays will likely stick with its current lineup of RV brands at the new site.

Just because the company is opening a western outpost, Lay said there are no plans to close the site in Tampa. They’re more than 2,000 miles apart, and serve different markets, he said. The economic downturn hasn’t been easy on Lazydays either. Lazydays filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009 amid an awful RV market and emerged from bankruptcy that same year. They brought back about 65 workers after laying off more than 200 people from 2008 to 2009.

Lazydays on Tuesday laid off 50 workers in Tampa, primarily in the service area, leaving the company with just over 500 employees. That cutback was primarily due to an RV market severely softened by high gas and diesel prices this spring, Lay said, and with those fuel prices falling, there are no present plans for more cuts.

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