Spurred by the RV industry’s resurgence and a subsequent jump in sales over the past year, Southern California dealer Giant RV is poised to begin construction on a new dealership in Indio.
“We are back in expansion mode,” Frankie Barouti, vice president of Giant RV, told RVBUSINESS.com. “Business is strong and we see the opportunity to grow.”
Barouti reported that the 26-year-old company, which currently operates stores in Murietta, Colton, Corona and its home base in Montclair, also has long-term plans to open its first location in Orange County – a hotbed for RV dealers. Currently Giant RV, led by President Bob Barouti, employs approximately 270 people.
Situated on six acres in California’s Palm Desert region with immediate access to Interstate 10, the Indio property was purchased by Giant RV around seven years ago. Frankie Barouti said that initial landscaping was implemented after the land was secured, but the industry’s downturn delayed further construction.
“We brought in over 190 truck loads of dirt, bringing the land eye level with the 10 freeway,” he said. “It’s a great location, right next to the Auto Mall and in an area where there’s only one other dealership. We see a lot of potential.”
Giant RV is currently testing the market, operating a makeshift sales center from a suite of mobile offices and a huge tent area.
“Right now we’re just finalizing everything for construction,” Barouti said. “All the permits are in place and we’re talking to contractors.”
Giant RV’s vision, however, is well beyond the blueprint stage with completion projected for the fall.
“We are building a true state-of-the-art facility,” Barouti said. “The main building will be 5,000 square feet that will include sales and a full-service repair center with 14 bays. It’s going to based on the same design and upscale feel of our other stores.”
Barouti related that Giant RV is known as one of the premier dealers for toy haulers in the country and was a forerunner in the decidedly West Coast influence that fueled the sector’s rapid growth.
“We really dominated the toy hauler market over the last year 9 1/2 years,” he said, noting that the retailer sells a full range of new and used RVs. “Even during the downturn, we were able to bring in some of the hottest brands like Eclipse RV’s Attitude and the Cyclone from Heartland. We also added CrossRoad’s towable line.”
He added, “We’re back on it – doing what we do best – and are looking for another strong year. We think it’s a great time to expand and we see Indio as a great location for Giant RV.”