Alpin Haus, one of America’s largest RV dealerships with five locations in New York, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, starting with a cocktail reception for employees, manufacturers and vendors Friday (June 6) night.
Alpin Haus told RVBUSINESS.com that representatives will be on hand at its Amsterdam location from several key manufacturers, including Keystone RV Co., Thor Motor Coach, Grand Design RV Co., Prime Time Manufacturing, Forest River Inc., K-Z Inc. and Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. Customers will enjoy barbecue and entertainment all weekend, including a magician Saturday and Sunday and a caricature artist Saturday.
Alpin Haus was founded in 1964 by Bud Heck and his longtime friend, John Daly, as a small family owned business in Amsterdam. It started as a ski shop with one full time employee and a handful of helpers.
In the five decades since, Alpin Haus has grown into an outdoor recreation powerhouse with five store locations in Amsterdam, Port Jervis, Saratoga and Clifton Park, and featuring a full line of RVs, snowmobiles, skis, boats, pools and spas.
“I remember as a kid just being there and working with my dad,” Heck said, adding that Bud, 73, remains active in the business. “Like most kids who grew up in a family owned business, we did pretty much anything that needed to be done, from working in parts and service in the pools, ski shop and RVs to serving hot dogs at our events.”
Among the dealer’s five locations, RVs are sold from the flagship RV store in Amsterdam as well as the Port Jervis and Saratoga facilities. The company, which has 200 employees, offers more than 500 RVs available at the three stores.
“We’re blessed to be part of the RV industry,” said Heck, who previously served as Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) chairman. “It’s such a tight-knit community nationwide, and RVs have been our bread and butter over the years. It’s been the lion’s share of our business.”
Heck said one of the most enjoyable aspects is the longtime relationships Alpin Haus has made with both customers and employees. Some workers are second-generation employees, he said, and some people have not only bought as many as five to 10 RVs from the business, but are also second- and third-generation customers as well.
The reason for the longevity and loyalty is simple: “Our motto is everyone is family when you’re in our house,” Heck said. “Whether you’re a customer or an employee or a vendor, you’re family.”
Alpin Haus was named a top five RV dealer by RV Business Magazine; is the recipient of the Caldera Spa’s Best New Dealer of the Year award; Top 25 Tracker Boats dealer; the Snow Sports Retailer of the Year; National Top Quality RV Dealer of the Year; the Ski-Doo District Dealer of the Year; and voted one of the Best Places to Work by Capital District Business Review numerous years.
ALPIN HAUS TIMELINE
1964 Founded as a ski shop by Bud Heck and John Daly
1967 Recreational vehicles, pools, and snowmobiles added
1969 7,000 square foot addition added to original store
1986 Present location on Rt.30 purchased and the business relocated
1987 Boats added
1994 Andy & Greg Heck purchased John Daly’s share of the business
1999 Location in Saratoga opened for RV sales & service
2002 Ground breaking for new facility at Route 5S
2003 New Alpin Haus RV Super Center opens
2008 Acquired The Fitness Center located in Route 30 plaza
2010 Ski, Pool, and Spa facility opened at Clifton Park Center; Priority RV Parts store opens on Route 5S in Amsterdam.
2013 RV facility in Port Jervis, NY is opened