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Camping World Opening New Toledo-Area Site

August 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 10.51.35 AMCamping World Inc., the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam LLC, the world’s largest RV owners organization, announced the grand opening of their national chain’s newest SuperCenter in Rossford, Ohio, in the Toledo market.

The location, officially named Camping World of Rossford, will offer a wide array of RV sales, service, parts and accessories for the outdoor enthusiast. The Rossford SuperCenter will join more than 100 other locations across the U.S. with nearby locations in Akron, Ohio, and Belleville, Mich.

Camping World of Rossford is located at 28000 Sportsman’s Drive off Interstate 75 near the Bass Pro Shops. This new 30,000-square-foot facility encompasses both a Camping World retail store and Camping World RV Sales dealership onsite and will serve the greater Toledo communities, according to the written announcement.

“We are very happy with the overwhelming response to our new SuperCenter in the Toledo market and to offer customers a one-stop location to serve all their outdoor needs,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and chairman of Camping World and Good Sam and star of CNBC’s “The Profit.” “Camping World has established a solid base for the dealer network around the country while reinforcing our brand’s presence and supporting economic growth.”

The grand opening celebration kicks off Friday (Aug. 22) and will run through Aug. 30. The local Rossford Business Association and the Rossford mayor’s office have been invited to celebrate the new location with a ribbon cutting on Friday, at 11 a.m. In addition, there will be grand opening lunch and refreshments, price specials, prizes and giveaways. Oldies radio station 93.5 FM WRQN will be on-site with a live radio remote on Saturday from noon-2 p.m.

Customers will find bargains on hundreds of new and preowned motorhomes and towable RVs from the finest manufacturers and brands including Winnebago Industries, Fleetwood, Thor Motor Coach, Itasca, Coleman, Heartland, Keystone, Forest River, Crossroads, Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Jayco, Starcraft, Coachmen and many more.

On the accessory side, the new location will feature new and innovative products including interactive displays and customer experiences from the top vendors such as Dometic, Honda, Thetford, Goodyear, Winegard, ADCO, Camco, Roadmaster, Husky, Reese, Cequent, Exide, Ultra-Fab, Coleman, Valterra, Dicor, Champion, Rand McNally, Max-Air, BAL, Furrion, Select Comfort, ASA Electronics, Cummins, Onan, WFCO, Weber, HWH, Presto-Fit, Stromberg-Carlson, Atwood, RDK Products, Magellan, King Controls, Charbroil, Amerigas, Exxon Mobil products, Norcold and many more. Camping World also creates and carries its own private label lines of exclusive products for the RV, outdoor and home markets.

For more information about Camping World of Rossford, visit www.campingworldofrossford.com.

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Camping World Will Debut Memphis Location

July 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

                                                Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced plans to open a new supercenter in Olive Branch, Miss., according to a news release.

The location, officially named Camping World of Memphis, will offer a wide array of RV sales, service, parts and accessories for the outdoor enthusiast while joining over 100 other locations across the U.S. with nearby locations in Little Rock, Ark., and Nashville, Tenn.

Located off Interstate 22, the 26,000-square-foot facility encompasses both a Camping World retail store and Camping World RV sales dealership on-site serving the greater Memphis communities.

“We are excited to enter the Memphis market and offer customers a supercenter to serve all their outdoor needs while reinforcing our brand’s presence and supporting economic growth,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and chairman of Camping World and Good Sam, and star of CNBC’s The Profit. “Camping World has established a solid base for the dealer network around the country, and we are now positioning additional facilities in markets with the most growth potential.”

The grand opening celebration kicks off July 17 and runs through July 27 with a live radio remote on July 26 by WGKX, KIX 106.

For more information about Camping World of Memphis, visit http://www.campingworldofmemphis.com/

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Camping World Announces ’15 Growth Plans

June 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

                                                Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced in a written release that they will be expanding into the Atlanta, Greensboro, N.C., and Erie, Pa., in 2015 with the development of new RV supercenters.

Additionally, the company continues to actively pursue new markets and acquisitions, and is under contract with land owners and existing dealerships that will be announced over the next few months.

The announcement of the three new locations comes on the heels of a recent announcement reporting new locations planned for first quarter of 2015 in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Jackson, Miss.; and Lexington, Ky.

“Camping World and Good Sam are committed to offering quality outdoor products and services to the customers and travelers of these markets,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises. “As part of our growth strategy, the brand is making major investments in the quality of its dealer network. From facility upgrades to new store openings, the company’s network will continue to expand and evolve while continuing to serve as our customers’ one-stop shopping location for everything outdoor and RV.”

The aforementioned markets are in addition to highly visible locations that have opened and are scheduled for the remainder of 2014. Camping World launched its Saukville (Milwaukee area), Wis., store in April and plans to open a site in Rossford (Toledo area), Ohio, in July.

“This is an exciting announcement not only for those of us who love the outdoors, but also for the community members of these great cities. These recent acquisitions not only increase our presence in existing markets and new territories but are also in alignment with the strategic growth plans we have for the company,” continued Lemonis. “We are constantly reviewing our footprint and evaluating where we can strengthen our position within each of our markets.”

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Camping World, Good Sam Detail 2014 Growth

October 22, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC today (Oct. 21) announced their 2014 forecast for expansion and future development to meet customer needs for product and service in new markets. According to a press release, the new markets will raise the total number of supercenters to just shy of 120 nationwide. Additionally, the company is under contract with land owners and existing dealerships actively pursuing new markets and acquisitions that will be announced over the next six months.

“Camping World and Good Sam cater to travelers from all over the United States seeking quality outdoor products and services. We are proud to continue our commitment to the U.S. market with the opening of these new supercenters and look forward to having customers in these regions visit their new one-stop location for everything outdoor and RV,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “As part of Camping World and Good Sam’s growth strategy, the brand is making major investments in the quality of its dealer network. From facility upgrades to new store openings, the company’s network will continue to expand and evolve while serving our customers’ outdoor, RV and camping needs.”

Plans are underway to expand the company footprint with additional locations in high-traffic, outdoor-centric markets within the following areas: Pittsburgh, Pa.; Lexington, Ky.; Erie, Pa.; Des Moines, Iowa; Rapid City, S.D.; Minot, N.D.; and San Antonio, Texas.

These new markets are in addition to highly visible locations slated for first quarter 2014 that include:

• January 2014 – Coburg (Junction City area), Ore.

• January 2014 – Fresno, Calif.

• January 2014 -  Lake Park, Ga.

• February 2014 -  Saukville (Milwaukee area), Wis.

• April 2014 – Rossford (Toledo area), Ohio

This new market expansion is on the heels of new supercenters that have opened and /or had major renovations or relocations in the last year in the following markets:

• October 2012 – Kingston, N.Y. (new location).

• October 2012 – Spokane, Wash. (new location).

• February 2013 – Hanover, Pa. (new location).

• February 2013 – New Port Richey, Fla. (new location).

• May 2013 – Kansas City, Mo. (new location).

• June 2013 – Columbia, Mo. (new location).

• July 2013 – Lubbock, Texas (new location).

• October 2013 – Cedar Falls, Iowa (new location).

• October 2013 – Panama City, Fla. (new location).

• October 2013 – Berkley, Mass. (new location).

• August 2013 – Tampa, Fla. (relocation).

• April 2013 – Jacksonville, Fla. (relocation).

• September 2013 – Ocala, Fla. (relocation).

• September 2013 – Tucson, Ariz. (relocation).

All new locations will offer a wide array of RV sales, service, collision, parts and accessories for the outdoor enthusiast. It will feature motorhomes and towables from the finest manufacturers and brands including Winnebago Industries, Fleetwood, Thor Motor Coach, Itasca, Coleman, Heartland, Keystone, Forest River, Crossroads, Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Jayco, Starcraft, Coachmen and many more.

On the accessory side the new locations will feature new and innovative products including interactive displays and customer experiences from the top vendors such as Dometic, Honda, Thetford, Goodyear, Winegard, ADCO, Camco, Roadmaster, Husky, Reese, Cequent, Exide, Ultra-Fab, Coleman, Valterra, Dicor, Champion, Rand McNally, Max-Air, BAL, Furrion, Select Comfort, ASA Electronics, Cummins, Onan, WFCO, Weber, HWH, Presto-Fit, Stromberg-Carlson, Atwood, RDK Products, Magellan, King Controls, Charbroil, Amerigas, Exxon Mobil products, Norcold and many more. Camping World also carries and creates its own private label lines of exclusive products for the RV, outdoor and home markets.

“This is an exciting announcement not only for those of us who love the outdoors, but also for the community members of these great cities. These recent acquisitions not only increase our presence in existing markets and new territories but are also in alignment with the strategic growth plans we have for the company,” continued Lemonis.  “We are constantly reviewing our footprint and evaluating where we can strengthen our position within each of our markets.”

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Camping World Atlanta Rally Draws 2,717 Units

October 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Camping World Inc. and its Good Sam Enterprises LLC affiliate apparently made good on a promise this past weekend (Oct. 17-20) to bring thousands of RV enthusiasts together “to experience world-class evening entertainment, warm southern hospitality and to shop for hundreds of new RVs, outdoor products and camping accessories” by drawing 2,717 consumer coaches to the surrounding lots and infield of the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

All things considered, the Rally, which ended last night with a concert by the Vogues, a 1950’s group well suited for the event’s older demographic, also drew about 500 walk-in attendees a day, Vice President of Media and Events Mark Boggess told RVBUSINESS.com.

He said things actually couldn’t have gone much better, especially considering that the Rally drew about 6,000 people for a Friday night concert by the legendary Beach Boys and another 5,000 for Saturday evening’s performance by C&W entertainer Vince Gill. “It was awesome, and we had a great turnout here,” said Boggess as CW/GS’s staff was preparing to wrap things up last night.

“This was our first time here at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and, you know, all the venues are different, and I’d say probably the best part of this event here was the ability to park rigs. I mean, this place was really easy for consumers to access, and we heard it a lot at registration about how easy it was for people getting in and how they didn’t have to wait in line. So, that was a big thing as far as impressions and people came in happy. That was a good thing.”

While consumers, with the exception of the handicapped, were parked outside the speedway facility, all of the supplier and OEM displays were located in the infield, with Camping World alone showing 160 units while the number of commercial rigs on hand in the outdoor displays totaled around 300. Activities during the  included about 20 seminars a day plus a veterans’ salute, Huey helicopter rides, dog Frisbee performers plus presentations by Food Network’s “Surreal Gourmet” Bob Blumer and tours of Antebellum homes, the CNN Center and the “World of Coca-Cola.”

From a commercial standpoint, Boggess says the exhibitors at the Rally were pleased with the pace of business.

“We filled two NASCAR garages and a Camping World tent at least 80 feet long with Camping World and Good Sam product,” Boggess reported. “We had over 300 indoor exhibitors sold. We even spilled over into the outside areas. People wanted to be at this Rally, so it was a huge success, and all the manufacturers did very well – Jayco particularly in the towables, as well as Keystone and Heartland.”

He added, “As for motorized, we heard nothing but great comments from Winnebago, Thor, Fleetwood and Newmar. They were all in the infield. So it made it very convenient for the handicapped people in particular to get to their exhibits. Then we shuttled people by tram and bus from all the parking around the Atlanta Motor Speedway venue through the tunnel, and that went very smoothly, too.”

 

 

 

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Camping World Rolls Out RV Transport Company

October 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

 

CWRV President Dave Miller

In a move that could have important long-term implications for the RV transportation business, Chicago-based RV retailer Camping World Inc. formally expanded into the RV transport business during a Thursday (Oct. 17) ribbon-cutting ceremony on the west side of Elkhart, Ind., introducing its new CWRV Transport LLC.

“We were actually breathed into life, so to speak, by Camping World, who decided as the largest RV dealership in the country, they wanted to take control of their deliveries. This is a new model in this industry,” said Dave Miller, president of CWRV Transport.

Miller, a former Elkhart mayor, said “most of the manufacturers hire their transportation, and so all of the transportation companies work generally for the manufacturers. Camping World decided they wanted to do it differently. They wanted to control that.”

Roger Nuttall, Camping World retail group president, said, “For us, it’s logistics, trying to make sure we’ve got the inventory in our dealerships as quickly as we possibly can. Having this transportation does that, gives us the opportunity to get them quicker so we can sell more and keep more manufacturers busy.”

Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises Inc., said, “it was really asset management for us. Can we get our inventory quicker? Can we sell it faster? Can we re-order quicker?”

Nuttall said the transport company has made a significant difference at Camping World dealerships already. “We’ve been able to take off about three to three-and-a-half days on delivery,” he said.

CWRV Transport hired about 120 drivers in five weeks, and the business is on the way to between 600 and 700 drivers by January, Miller said. “We’ve got a lot more to do to grow this little company to meet Camping World’s needs. They buy an awful lot of product that’s made here in Elkhart.”

At the moment, CWRV Transport is strictly moving models from Thor’s companies to Camping World’s 100 U.S. stores, which currently account for somewhere between 18% and 22 % of total U.S. retail sales.. “We aren’t even scratching the surface of how much they buy,” Miller said. But as they ramp up he expects CWRV to handle units from all manufacturers and to pick up transport between Camping World stores.

“Once we’ve taken care of Camping World, we anticipate expanding further and serving other dealers,” Miller said.

Miller, who formerly worked at Horizon Transport, said they’re working hard to recruit drivers, but “we’re not here to rob transport companies.” In fact, Horizon is helping CWRV Transport get off the ground, Miller said.

Miller said the new venture is drawing drivers from the membership of the Good Sam Club, an affiliate of Camping World’s, as well as from the ranks of Camping World’s rolling stock and aftermarket parts & accessories customer base. “We have some locals, but there’s people from Oregon, Texas, Alabama,” Miller said.

CWRV Transport pays higher rates than the industry average, has no Canadian deliveries, no washing requirements and guaranteed drop-off times that vary no more than 30 minutes at Camping World stores, Miller said.

“This thing is only going to get bigger, and I’m glad people are buying RVs,” Miller said.

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CWRV Transport to Host Elkhart Grand Opening

October 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

CWRV Transport LLC, an affiliate of Camping World Inc., announced the grand opening its corporate office in Elkhart, Ind. According to a press release, Marcus Lemonis, president and CEO of Camping World Inc., will be on hand and speaking during the event scheduled for Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. EDT.

CWRT Transport began official operations in September  in response to a growing need among RV dealerships to exercise some control over their deliveries. “Not wanting to establish their own transportation and trucking companies, dealerships compete with each other not only for sales but for product deliveries so having a fleet of drivers dedicated solely to moving their products enables them to better control their inventory allocations and at the same time control costs,” the release stated.

CWRV Transport is run by a team of experienced RV professionals including its President Dave Miller, former two-term mayor of Elkhart. Recently, he established CWRV Transport upon invitation by Camping World to become its exclusive transporter nationwide.

CWRV already has hired 11 in-house team members and anticipates adding 600 contract drivers to deliver RVs to the nearly 100 Camping World dealerships across the United States. Camping World said CWRV boasts higher pay than the industry, no Canadian deliveries, no wash requirements and quick deliveries.

“CWRV was created and exists to serve the Camping World family of stores and customers,” said Miller. “Though many RVs are transported from the factories as dealer pick-ups, no one has attempted it on this scale. Fortunately for our beloved RV industry, Camping World sells a lot of RVs. Not only do we get to help Camping World and their many customers, I am especially thrilled we get to help our community, the RV Capital of the world.”

He added, “You can meet my boss every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on his reality TV show, “The Profit” on CNBC. Marcus Lemonis is a dynamic, inspirational leader. I feel fortunate we are tied to his strong company and we’re proud to be part of his incredible team.”

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Lazydays Founder Wallace Joins Camping World

September 30, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Camping World, the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam, announced today (Sept. 30) that effective Oct. 1, Don Wallace — RV Hall of Famer, co-founder and former CEO of Lazydays RV Super Center — joins their management team. The company has assigned Wallace the responsibility of overseeing the company’s efforts in the Tampa market.

Lemonis commented, “We are pleased to bring on board an RV executive of such business acumen and accomplishments as Don Wallace. His reputation as a groundbreaker fits our requirements for leadership. I look forward to having Don assist Roger Nuttall, Camping World retail group president, on our continued growth of the RV market starting in the Tampa market. Not only does he bring the depth and breadth of financial and management expertise that will be instrumental in our expansion, he also already has an extensive knowledge of the organization and our core values.”

“After 37 years in the RV industry, I’m excited to get back in the game,” said Wallace. “I see the developments that the Camping World brand has made throughout the entire country and their vision is one I believe in.  I look forward to helping Roger Nuttall execute his plan and strengthen our relationships with our loyal customers and manufacturers.”

Camping World recently relocated its facility and renovated their new McIntosh Road Tampa SuperCenter on exit 14 on I-4 to be the largest retail facility in the company’s 100-location dealer network. The Camping World of Tampa underwent an expansion to expand and renovate into an 80,000-square-foot facility including 40 additional service bays, a new 17,000-square-foot Camping World retail store and a state-of-the-art collision center. The new facility is hosting a VIP event with Lemonis on Oct. 4 from 5pm to 7pm and then hosting its grand-opening event Oct. 9-19 with door busters and special prizes for customers.

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Ace Fogdall RV Transitioning to Camping World

September 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A major recreational vehicle dealer in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is going on permanent holiday — but the business is going nowhere but up.

The Waterloo Cedar Falls-Courier reported that Jim Fogdall concluded 50 years in the RV business last week by closing the sale of his family business, Ace Fogdall RV, which was named for his father. The company is going to Camping World of Lincolnshire, Ill., which is launching a $1 million renovation of the Cedar Falls location and hiring staff.

Virtually all the employees will be retained, according to Fogdall. He is retiring because of his wife Judy’s health, however, and their daughter and general manager, Sara Fogdall Miller, is stepping away from the business. She intends to devote more time to her family, including two sons ages 7 and 11.

“I’m thankful for all the opportunities we’ve had,” said Fogdall, whose family has been in the automobile and RV business for 80 years.

Ace Fogdall started in RVs in 1963 and Jim worked alongside his father for 20 years.

“When the time came to retire and sell the business, I was fortunate to find a buyer that … would employ all my present staff,” Fogdall said. “One of my biggest objectives was to sell the business with a good feeling.”

Don King, a Fogdall employee for 28 years, is now the store general manager.

“I personally have a lot of admiration for the Fogdall family,” King said.

Camping World signs are on the business. A liquidation sale of Fogdall inventory is underway — parts and RVs — to make room for the new owner. The parts, sales and service departments are open.

The reconfigured sales area boasts 9,000 square feet of floor space, according to King.

“We retained 95% of the employees, plus we have already hired nine new employees,” he added.

To read the entire article click here.

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Camping World Set To Enter RV Transport Biz

August 15, 2013 by · 4 Comments 

CWRV Transport

In an effort to expedite delivery of some 30,000 units a year from RV manufacturers to Camping World Inc.’s 90-plus rolling stock stores, CW Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis says his Lincolnshire, Ill.-based company has decided to enter the RV transportation business — in a big way.

And although there are still plenty of details to be publicly fleshed out, CWRV Transport – in the planning stages for nine months now – has already done a wave of driver surveys in preparation for launching a billboard campaign this week (Aug. 12-16) around the RV-building center of Elkhart, Ind., to begin recruiting drivers in anticipation of a “game-changing” Sept. 1 launch.

The new transport operation is exclusive right now to CW dealerships, but, Lemonis says, could include other independent retailers at a later date.

“We are getting into the transportation side of the business, the logistics business, for the single purpose of improving our inventory turns,” Lemonis, also CEO of Good Sam Enterprises LLC, told by RVBUSINESS.com. “So, today, it’s not anybody’s fault, but the process of getting inventory from the manufacturer to the dealer has really slowed up. And there’s a shortage of drivers, and there’s an increase in shipments.

“And when you have that confluence of issues, you know, we’re seeing delays that could be 10 to 15 days from the time the manufacturer actually has the unit ready to the time we get it.

“What that means for us is we’ll buy over the course of the year almost $800 million dollars of inventory, and when we look at missing one week, that’s an appreciable cost. What we hope to do is cut the lead time from 14 days to seven or eight, and pick up that inventory, those dollars, and redeploy them at our new stores. We’re opening 11 new stores in the next eight months. And as we look at ways to better manage our company, we know that we have to cut down on the lead times between the manufacturer and us.”

In the final analysis, Lemonis claims CW’s bold move into RV transportation ought to relieve pressure on manufacturers, his dealers and the other transportation companies who are “being yelled at and harassed to get stuff delivered.”

A real key to the whole gameplan, meanwhile, is CW’s plan to recruit drivers all over the country through its 1.5 million Good Sam Club members as well as four million Camping World RV and parts & accessories customers to whom CW will offer decent remuneration, fuel discounts and memberships.

Marcus Lemonis

The end result, Lemonis added, should be a greater pool of drivers for the entire industry, including other transporters.

“It’s really a logistics business,” he said, “and what we’re doing is we’re providing a pool of people from the Good Sam Club and current customers of ours who are looking for work. Retirees are looking for work; they like to get out on their own. And we’re using our existing database to populate additional drivers for the industry.

“We think that Good Sam members and Camping World customers are perfect candidates for part-time transport work because they live the lifestyle – they understand it – and they’re always looking for something to do. So, we really thought it made sense to kind of bring the RV consumer and the RV transport company together.”

Although there will be an Elkhart office, Lemonis says Camping World is not setting up an entire infrastructure to facilitate its new transport initiative, but instead is “partnering with a number of people to kind of facilitate it.” He declined to discuss further details about how this whole thing might work from an operational standpoint.

“This whole process is being run by people who understand the transportation business, not by Lincolnshire or Bowling Green (where CW runs its parts and accessories business),” said Lemonis. “This is a process that’s being administered by people who know the space – out of Elkhart – people who know the transportation business and have really been recruited and positioned to help because shipments, in my view, are going to continue to go up.”

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