The Lazydays RV empire is about to get much bigger, though with fewer people, according to a report in the Tampa Tribune.
The RV dealer has purchased a major RV site in Arizona and plans to open that Western outpost by autumn. The deal is happening as the company decided to lay off workers in Tampa.
Lazydays officials paid $9.5 million to purchase the 86-acre Beaudry RV compound in Tucson, Ariz.. The operation had fallen into receivership amid the economic downturn.
“Just like Disney did when they opened in California, we’re doing the same thing with RVs,” said Randy Lay, chief financial officer of Lazydays, which still ranks as the nation’s largest single-site RV dealership. The Tucson site will rank as No. 2, Lay said, and comes complete with a dealership, service area and campground.
The now-former Beaudry site stood out in the RV market as a luxury property, with hot tubs at each camp site and occasional visits from a symphony orchestra. Lazydays will likely stick with its current lineup of RV brands at the new site.
Just because the company is opening a western outpost, Lay said there are no plans to close the site in Tampa. They’re more than 2,000 miles apart, and serve different markets, he said. The economic downturn hasn’t been easy on Lazydays either. Lazydays filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009 amid an awful RV market and emerged from bankruptcy that same year. They brought back about 65 workers after laying off more than 200 people from 2008 to 2009.
Lazydays on Tuesday laid off 50 workers in Tampa, primarily in the service area, leaving the company with just over 500 employees. That cutback was primarily due to an RV market severely softened by high gas and diesel prices this spring, Lay said, and with those fuel prices falling, there are no present plans for more cuts.
Tampa Bay, Fla.-based Lazydays RV Center Inc. today (April 29) announced that it has completed the sales transaction on the dealership formerly owned and occupied by Beaudry RV in Tucson, Ariz.
Having closed on the property, Lazydays said it “will now begin obtaining the necessary business permits and do a thorough review and inspection of the property in the process of creating the Lazydays customer experience in Tucson.”
“This is an exciting day for Lazydays,” John Horton, President and CEO, said in a press release. “We’ve worked very hard to build a reputation and a culture geared toward an unparalleled customer experience, and we’re very enthusiastic about bringing that experience to RVers in a new market.”
Different than most other RV dealers, Lazydays considers the entire RV ownership process to be part of the customer relationship and focuses on product knowledge and expert service to endear RVers, many of whom return repeatedly over the years to purchase multiple times. Within a few months, Lazydays will create a similar customer experience at its new Tucson location.
Lazydays is also an active participant in local charities and organizations dedicated to civic improvement and charitable fund-raising and was voted No. 2 among the top 20 places to work in Tampa Bay.
Current plans are to open the campground and service facilities mid-summer and to be ready to sell RVs a short while later.
Lazydays was founded in 1976 with two travel trailers and $500. Today, the company’s continued focus on RV expertise and unparalleled customer service has not only made it the largest single-site RV dealership in North America but also a place that many RVers refer to as their home away from home.
The bulk of Beaudry RV’s real estate has been taken over by its banks and many customers are still working to get property back from the well-known Tucson, Ariz., dealership, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The sale of Beaudry to a group of investors last month put its real estate loans in default, its secured creditors said in bankruptcy court filings. Those creditors — Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Comerica Bank — asked for the appointment of a liquidating trustee who would have sole authority over the company’s real estate collateral.
Judge James Marlar of U.S. Bankruptcy Court this week appointed Robert Burnand of Colliers International the liquidating trustee for Beaudry’s real estate collateral. The order gives Burnand “exclusive possession and control of all the real property and personal property” that comprises that collateral.
An investor group led by Greg Harrington and Peter Workum completed transactions in mid-September to acquire Beaudry RV’s properties and operations in Tucson and Chandler. The company had filed for Chapter 11, or reorganization, bankruptcy protection, two years earlier.
That sale violated loan documents and forced the company’s real estate into default, the banks argued in court papers.
The legal entanglement forced Beaudry to suddenly shut down its operations earlier this month. Some customers who recently purchased RVs or had dropped them off for service have yet to get their property back.
Prominent Tucson, Ariz., dealership Beaudry RV Co. has suspended operations as bankruptcy creditors say the company’s recent sale has forced its real estate loans into default, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
All the company’s employees have been laid off, with some saying they haven’t been paid for their last two weeks of work.
The inventory has been cleared from its sales lot on East Irvington Road near Interstate 10. A chain and padlock hold the doors to the guest lobby closed.
Customers who dropped off recreational vehicles to get service with the company were left in limbo for days, wondering if they’d have access to their coaches.
Meanwhile, attorneys for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Comerica Bank — creditors in Beaudry’s 2008 bankruptcy — filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court saying they were surprised by the recent sale of Beaudry to an investors group.
They’re asking for immediate appointment of a liquidating trustee, arguing the sale violated loan documents and real estate loans in default. That liquidating trustee would have sole authority over the company’s real estate collateral, the motion says. Beaudry filed two years ago for Chapter 11, or reorganization bankruptcy protection.
A group of investors led by Greg Harrington and Peter Workum completed a series of transactions in mid-September to acquire Beaudry RV’s properties and operations in Tucson and Chandler. Harrington said at the time the new investors had plans to expand the company.
Those plans quickly hit a snag. The turnaround proved impossible because of Beaudry’s current legal situation, the RV market and budget constraints, the investors group said Thursday.
When asked if the company’s temporary shutdown could become permanent, Harrington said he couldn’t address that issue at this time.
Clive Bowden, who lives in Green Valley, said he was getting close to pursuing criminal charges against Beaudry as he hadn’t heard anything from the company since mid-September. He had left a 42-foot coach at Beaudry’s Tucson location for body work and additional service.
Bowden was able to get his vehicle Thursday afternoon, he said, though others are still working out the details to get their RVs back.
“There are other people in the same situation as I was,” he said.
The scene is the same at Beaudry’s Chandler location, said Bud Bates, who bought an RV there early in September.
“Anybody who’s got a vehicle in there is totally befuddled,” Bates said.
Bates said he’d left the RV he purchased with Beaudry as he’d been out of the country for a few weeks. He went to the Chandler location Monday and found it completely shut down.
With Harrington’s help, Bates said he was able to get his coach back and only has to make sure the proper paperwork has been filed with Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division.
Harrington said he’s working to make sure everybody who left a vehicle with Beaudry gets back their property.
The company’s roughly 100 employees are also dealing with the fallout.
The workers, who’ve survived several rounds of layoffs at the financially struggling RV dealership, were notified of the temporary suspension toward the end of last week.
Dennis Cotton, a service manager in Tucson, said the employees were told the company would reopen by the end of the year and they might have the ability to do some contract work in the meantime.
On Monday morning, though, workers learned there was no authorization for any offer of temporary employment, Cotton said. There was also no money for the employees’ last paychecks, he said.
Workers haven’t been compensated for work they performed between Sept. 15 and Sept. 30, he said.
Even without the incentive of a paycheck, some employees have been helping customers get their vehicles, Cotton said. But they’ve done so in Tucson without much guidance from the new investors, he said.
As for his immediate plans, Cotton said there’s a lot of uncertainty about how he’s going to earn a paycheck.
“I’m still trying to accept and realize what’s happened,” he said. “I’ve got some feelers out at this point, but I’m really not sure what we’re going to do.”
Beaudry RV Co. announced on Friday (Oct. 1) that it has temporarily suspended operations at both the Tucson and Chandler, Ariz., retail stores to continue the ongoing turnaround project presently underway.
On Sept. 15, a group of investors, Beaudry RV USA, LLC, BRV Properties LCC and Beaudry Main Street LLC, led by Greg Harrington and Peter Workum, completed a series of transactions to acquire Beaudry RV properties and operating companies, according to a news release.
Workum has extensive experience in managing startup, turnaround and distressed companies. Harrington brings a real estate, investment and capital restructuring skillset to the Beaudry Group of companies.
In addition, Dundee D. Kelbel and Scott Beaudry were asked to provide the companies with RV industry, retail and historical experience. Scott Beaudry is a fourth generation Beaudry committed to continue the family legacy in both the Tucson and Phoenix markets. Kelbel has over 15 years of strategic industry experience in manufacturing, retail, operations and financial matters.
“The restructuring of Beaudry RV, after years of difficult market, economic and operating conditions requires extensive financial restructuring and refinancing along with the judicious reorganization and deployment of the companies capital and assets. In addition, the establishment of a sustainable corporate strategy, disciplined budgeting and controlled spending will all be critical to the success of the Beaudry Group during the turn around effort. This project is not without substantial risk and will see ultimate success of failure based primarily upon the quality and quantity of the efforts of all those involved,” the release stated.
In the case of the Beaudry RV, the existing turn-around effort is impossible to continue as it exists today within the limits established by Beaudry’s current legal situation, the RV market and our current budget constraints, the release continued.
Reconditioning at the previous Main Street Location is nearly complete and the intent is to reopen that store by Oct. 30. Beaudry’s Tucson store is expected to reopen before the end of 2010. The body shop and RV resort will remain open and a small group of employees will be retained on a contract basis to work with the new ownership during the restructuring to prepare for the next generation of Beaudry RV.
“This is a difficult time for all in the Beaudry family of employees. However, Beaudry RV intends to re-emerge, fit, financially sound and ready to retake a position as a leader in the RV Industry. There are no guarantees that the effort will succeed, however news will be forthcoming regarding future progress and return to operations,” the release concluded.
For more information on Beaudry RV Company or current trends in the industry contact Scott Beaudry at (520) 239-5054.
Beaudry RV Co. will host its annual Gun Show Aug. 28-29 at its Event Center in Tucson, Ariz.
The last show saw close to 5,000 visitors come through the door for one of the few shows across the country that has a wide variety of ammunitions available, according to a news release. The show will also showcase guns and gun accessories. Another unique feature of the Gun Show is that the entire show is indoors.
Beaudry RV is known for popularly attended events which include their manufacturer and RV owner club rallies, concerts, driving courses, seminars and more.
For more information on Beaudry RV or current trends in the industry, contact Scott Beaudry at (520) 239-5054 or visit www.beaudryrv.com.
There are exceptions to the grim rules of today’s bleak economy, and two of them are on the same northwest corner of I-10 and South Palo Verde Road in Tucson, Ariz., according to the Arizona Daily Star.
There, in a city full of vacant commercial real estate, an agent was able to lease out a purpose-built retail facility and huge lot just two weeks after it was vacated.
And the incoming tenant is a new RV center, from an industry that has been hurting from the 1-2-3 punch of high gas prices, a tough recession and tight money.
Mark Treacy, owner of Orangewood RV Center, of Surprise, plans to open a new Tucson full-service RV dealership around March 1 on the property occupied by Arizona Honda until just two weeks ago.
The center will sell new fifth-wheel RVs, travel trailers and toy haulers.
Treacy said the dealership will carry new products by Keystone RV Co., including the Montana, Mountaineer, Big Sky, Raptor, Fuzion, Outback, Hornet, Hideout, Sidney, Cougar, High Country and Bullet lines; Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC’s Sundance, North Trail, Edge and Graystone lines; and Eclipse’s Attitude toy hauler.
Treacy said he signed a deal with RV manufacturer Keystone to give Orangewood exclusive rights to sell new Keystone products in southern Arizona.
The current local authorized dealer for most Keystone lines, Beaudry RV,will no longer carry Keystone, confirmed Beaudry’s vice president for operations, Dundee Kelbel.
Kelbel said Beaudry has signed on to carry the Forest River Inc. line of RV products, including Class A, B and C motorcoach lines, but will continue to sell remaining Keystone inventory.
Beaudry RV, like many RV dealerships nationwide, has gone through bankruptcy and dropped some product lines. Beaudry emerged from bankruptcy protection last summer and has since reported some gains in parts of its business, which includes sales, parts, service and a large RV guest park.
Treacy said Orangewood will also sell used RVs and offer consignment sales of all types and makes of RVs, as well as offering service, parts and detailing.
In six months to a year, Treacy said, he plans to open a collision center to repair damaged RVs. That may be built on adjacent land or at a separate location.
Treacy said Orangewood RV Center, founded in 2004, has grown conservatively in the Surprise and Sun City area northwest of Phoenix, allowing it to make this move. The company is owned by Treacy and his wife, Cynthia.
“We’ve structured our overhead in a way that allows us to maintain profitability,” Treacy said. He said financing on RVs just “a year ago was impossible, but it’s a little better.”
He said the company would open with 12 employees in Tucson, and plans to expand the work force here to 40.
The 28,500-square-foot facility Orangewood is leasing on an 8.3-acre lot at the northwest corner of South Palo Verde Road and Interstate 10 was custom built in 2004 for Arizona Honda by Tucson commercial real estate development and leasing firm Larsen Baker.
Arizona Honda closed last month after a two-year downturn in sales.
“In these days of gloom and doom, look how quickly this got leased,” said Andy Seleznov, of Larsen Baker.
But Seleznov said the deal didn’t happen quite as miraculously as it may appear. He said Larsen Baker had some warning the property might become vacant and had done some scouting for possible tenants.
Beaudry RV’s 2nd Annual Western RV Show and Sale begins this week in Tucson, Ariz., with some new features.
“Our Southern Arizona residents, both full-time and seasonal, are looking for more buying information,” said CEO Thom Sylvester in a news release. “In the calls we receive and the visitors to our two dealerships in Tucson and Chandler, customers are constantly looking for more critical information that enables them to purchase the right product, at the right price. In addition, customers are focused on affordability, product performance, manufacturer viability and serviceability. All of these important questions will be answered by experts from our manufacturing partners and Beaudry RV team members.”
Beaudry RV along with featured manufacturing partners Forest River Inc. and Monaco RV will be hosting 30-minute sessions with follow-up Q&A, in a hands-on, engaging setting.
“It is important that our customers have adequate information before considering a major purchase in the RV lifestyle. We intend to provide the right product, at the right price, backed by our extraordinary service capabilities,” said Dundee Kelbel, Beaudry vice president of operations.
Q&A sessions are scheduled for Jan. 29-31 and Feb. 4-6. Times are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in 30-minute sessions scheduled every 45 minutes.
On Tuesday (Dec. 15) Beaudry RV announced a reduction in force for both of their Arizona locations. Between the two dealerships, Beaudry RV released a total of 51 employees. However, with over 100 current employees, Beaudry is still the No. 1 employer of RV retail and service personnel in the state of Arizona, according to a news release.
“Our decision was a long thought-out one, and after exhausting all other efforts, it was decided that the reduction could not be put off any longer and that it is an important part of the restructuring that prepares the company for the anticipated industry growth in 2010. It is regrettable, these decisions had to be made so close to the holiday season.” said Beaudry Motor Co. CEO Thomas Sylvester.
Earlier this month, University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin forecasted a 27% year-over-year increase in RV shipments for 2010. In preparation for the anticipated growth, Beaudry RV has had a $7 million increase in new inventory in the last 30 days, one of the largest purchases of wholesale inventory made by a dealer in the U.S. Beaudry RV has also been selected by a prominent industry lender to liquidate their repossessed and repurchased inventory.
Currently Beaudry is preparing for their 2nd Annual Western RV Show & Sale, Jan. 29-31. This three-day event is expected to draw over 5,000 RV enthusiasts to stay at the Beaudry RV Resort and to visit the Tucson dealership for RV seminars, vendors and to see the latest RV floorplans and models. Beaudry RV has a 25-year history of these annual “feature” events.
“For all of us at Beaudry, 2009 has been a year for overcoming financial and operational hurdles,” said Dundee Kelbel, vice president of operations. “We are all disappointed that so many of our people will be unable to move forward with us as we proceed into a very exciting 2010. The employees who remain are hard working individuals that will ensure the success of Beaudry and the continued focus on customer satisfaction.”
Established in 1972, Beaudry RV has grown to become one of the largest RV dealers in the nation. Today, Beaudry RV operates sales and service in two locations in Arizona, Tucson and Chandler, as well as an RV resort and state-of-the-art RV Collision Center in Tucson.
Arizona RV dealer Beaudry RV laid off 51 of its combined 165 Tucson and Chandler employees Tuesday (Dec. 15), a result of the downturn in the RV business, said Beaudry RV CEO Thomas Sylvester.
Sylvester said he did not know the breakdown of the layoffs between Tucson and Chandler but that the combined work force now stood at between 112 and 115 at the two locations, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
He said there would also be a no-pay furlough of all employees from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2.
Beaudry RV emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this summer.
Sylvester said the RV industry is still down, nationwide, but not dead. He said there have been some signs of revival. He said the dealership hosted 453 Monaco RV LLC luxury RV owners in October at the company’s local RV resort, and adjacent property and will host another 430 sometime in March.