Oil Boom Fuels Sales for West Texas Retailers
The potential oil boom in parts of West Texas sharing in the Cline Shale formation is creating a housing dilemma for communities that will be affected by oil and gas production.
As reported by the Abilene Reporter News, several communities are addressing the issue as best they can with new housing and apartment developments, but transitional housing in the form of recreational vehicles has become a speedy solution.
RV parks are popping up in several locations, such as the one in Snyder on a 150-acre site on Highway 208 just outside city. Developers even have complemented its stick-built units and lodge-type housing facilities at the site with an RV hookup field.
Sales of the vehicles, now being tagged as alternative housing, have seen an influx in orders and continued growth potential.
“We sold more last month than we ever have before,” said Grant Cherry, owner of Family RV Center in Sweetwater. “And it’s looking like we are going to beat that this month.”
Family’s RV sales went up 25% this year compared with the same time in 2012, he said. Buyers are picking up fifth-wheels and travel trailers within the $20,000 to $60,000 price range.
Another popular model is called the Bunk House, a two-bedroom unit with two bathrooms and all the amenities of a small apartment. Local dealers said the models are increasingly in demand for workers with visiting families.
It’s a similar story at Franklin’s Big Country RV Outlet in Abilene.
Phil Fry, the outlet’s general manager, said the dealership also draws a lot of business from the Midland-Odessa area, and have orders from Scurry and Mitchell counties.
So far, Fry said individuals are the ones buying the RVs. Some companies are looking at the units, but “they are a little harder to deal with.”
“A lot of times they (oil companies) want to buy four or five of the same kind and they want it at my cost, and I’m just not interested,” Fry said. “I’m not going to do it if I can’t make a profit.”
He described the uptick in sales as “a good shot in the arm.”
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