Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from Elkhart, Ind.-based RV builder Forest River Inc. responding to recent reports on two industry websites regarding the company’s ownership of property in Texas that was leased to two entities, including dealer Fun Town RV.
Forest River Inc. announced today (Feb. 18) that the three land parcels the company had purchased Oct. 30, 2012, in Johnson County, Texas, are now sold.
According to the release, there is a signed contract with earnest money securely in place for the two parcels leased to Fun Town RV and a verbal commitment to exercise the option to purchase from the portable building manufacturer on the third parcel.
“These are the same two lessees that have continuously occupied and improved the parcels for some time,” the statement read. “Until the three parcels were sold, these two lessees had been leasing the properties, with an option to buy, from Forest River at the same lease amounts that existed under the prior bank ownership arrangements. Lease amounts will continue to be in effect until such time as the property closings are final.”
The property recently was the subject of reports on both the RV Pro and RV Daily Report websites, citing Texas RV Association Executive Director Clark McEwen. Forest River claimed that “contrary to McEwen’s speculation, the land purchase was not a direct challenge to the (Texas) statutes.”
The release further stated that Forest River “wasn’t even notified there was a complaint until last week and, despite our request, we have yet to receive a copy of the complaint reportedly filed by the Texas RV Association with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. A courtesy call would have been nice and probably sped up the resolution of any dispute.”
In the reports, McEwen also said that “Forest River has for years been the most outspoken critic of the Transportation Code, the DMV and the Texas RV Association.”
With over 8500 employees operating out of over 60 different plants, Forest River said that “to our knowledge, we have never publicly criticized the Transportation Code, the DMV, or the Texas RV Association. On the contrary, when a potentially harmful tax issue surfaced and the Texas RV Association requested funding to help correct it, Forest River was one of the first to step up and write a check for $10,000 to help correct it. Further, when the Texas RV Association and McEwen himself wanted to bolster their tech training program by adding a fifth-wheel toy hauler for mobile training, Forest River stepped up again and sold the Texas RV Association a fifth-wheel toy hauler for $1 because we believed in the effort and wanted to fully support it.”
Forest River added, “Our support to the industry and our dealers in Texas has been, and will continue to be, unwavering. We apologize for any consternation this land purchase might have caused. We appreciate our dealers’ business and friendships, and look forward to experiencing an outstanding 2013 with everyone.”