NEWS IN FOCUS
RVBusiness Releases ’16 Class of Top 50 Dealers
RVBusiness magazine today (Sept. 29) announced the winners of the 2016 RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards, designed to recognize U.S. and Canadian RV retailers nominated by RV manufacturers for their professional approach to most every aspect of their commercial enterprises – from sales to F&I and service operations — as well as their civic and charitable practices.
“The industry in general has demonstrated an interest in raising the bar with regard to the quality of products and services over the past couple of years – the overall customer experience – and more so lately as companies strive to keep up with a surprisingly robust marketplace,” stated RVB Publisher Sherm Goldenberg, whose Elkhart, Ind.-based firm works with BJ Thompson Associates in overseeing the annual Top 50 program. “Manufacturers tell us that this industry upswing is fueled by a wave of new customers, as well as existing owners, who in many cases are experiencing shorter buying cycles.
“Whatever’s behind it,” he added, “the net result – and this is no surprise to anyone with an ear to the ground – is that the industry needs to continue raising the bar at every level, which, not so coincidentally, is what the Top 50 program has been focused on since Day One.”
As a result, applications forwarded this year to nominated dealers were reformatted to an extent to give retailers a chance to address some of these contemporary themes – topics that will most likely surface Nov. 7-11 at the 2016 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, where the latest round of Top 50 retailers is to be recognized at a 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, reception at the Platinum Ballroom at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip.
This year’s Top 50 program is sponsored by Ally Financial Inc., Cummins Power Generation, Dicor Corp., Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Lippert Components Inc., NTP-STAG, Protective Asset Protection and Wells Fargo CDF.
“Top 50 nominees are selected by the manufacturers for their performance and professionalism, not their sales volume,” noted B.J. Thompson, the long-time former chair of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Public Relations Committee whose marketing communications agency administers the annual program and oversees the selection process by a panel of industry experts. “In fact, this year’s Top 50 includes U.S. and Canadian dealerships managing anywhere between one and 15 stores and some whose names aren’t all that well known on a national scale.
“After six years of doing this, I should add, we’ve noticed a marked increase in the quality of the applications and in the depth of dealers’ programs in general,” said Thompson. “We’re seeing that dealers are stepping up their games, working harder on service technician training programs and developing and measuring customer satisfaction levels via their manufacturers’ systems or through their own internal measurements. So, in essence, RV retailers are getting better at what they do.”
The Top 50 roster again includes five exemplary “Blue Ribbon” dealerships — Affinity RV, Fraserway RV, Modern Trailer Sales, Mount Comfort RV and Princess Craft — and two special award recipients: Michigan’s Veurinks’ RV Center, winner of the “Gaylord Maxwell Innovation Award sponsored by Lippert Components Inc.,” and Colorado’s Windish RV Center, which is to be recognized in Las Vegas with the “Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award sponsored by Ally Financial Inc.”
Here, in alphabetical order, is this year’s Top 50:
1. Affinity RV Service, Sales & Rentals, Prescott, Ariz.
2. Airstream Adventures Northwest & Bay Area, Gladstone, Ore.
3. All Valley RV Center, Acton, Calif.
4. Alliance Coach, Wildwood, Fla.
5. America Choice RV, Ocala, Fla.
6. American RV Sales & Service, Grand Rapids, Mich.
7. ArrKann Trailer & RV Centre, Edmonton, Alta.
8. Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall, N.C.
9. Bish’s RV, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
10. Broadmoor RV SuperStore, Pasco, Wash.
11. Bucars RV Centre, Balzac, Alberta
12. Bullyan RV, Duluth, Minn.
13. Campers Inn RV, Kingston, N.H.
14. Coachlight RV Sales, Carthage, Mo.
15. Colerain RV, Cincinnati, Ohio
16. Colonial Airstream & RV, Lakewood, N.J.
17. Crestview RV Center, Buda, Texas
18. D&D RV Center, Helena, Mont.
19. ExploreUSA RV Supercenter, Plano, Texas
20. Fraserway RV, Abbotsford, British Columbia
21. General RV Center, Wixom, Mich.
22. Giant RV, Montclair, Calif.
23. Greeneway RV Sales & Service, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
24. Guaranty RV Super Centers, Junction City, Ore.
25. Hartville RV Center, Hartville, Ohio
26. Hilltop Trailer Sales, Fridley, Minn.
27. Hilmerson RV, Little Falls, Minn.
28. Jamatt RV Sales, Poteau, Okla.
29. Lazydays RV, Seffner, Fla.
30. Lifestyle RVs, Grain Valley, Mo.
31. Midwest RV Center, St. Louis, Mo.
32. Minard’s Leisure World, Weyburn, Saskatchewan
33. Modern Trailer Sales, Anderson, Ind.
34. Moix RV Supercenter, Conway, Ark.
35. Mount Comfort RV, Greenfield, Ind.
36. Noble RV, Owatonna, Minn.
37. Palm RV & Marine, Fort Myers, Fla.
38. Pan Pacific RV Centers, French Camp, Calif.
39. PleasureLand RV Center, St. Cloud, Minn.
40. Princess Craft, Round Rock, Texas
41. Rangeland RV, Rockyview, Alta.
42. RV City, Morinville, Alta.
43. Tennessee RV Supercenter, Knox, Tenn.
44. United RV Center, Fort Worth, Texas
45. Veurinks’ RV Center, Grand Rapids, Mich.
46. Voyager RV Centre, Winfield, British Columbia
47. Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales, New Castle, Ind.
48. Wilkins Recreational Vehicles, Inc., Bath, N.Y.
49. Windish RV Center, Lakewood, Colo.
50. Woody’s RV World, Calgary, Alberta