The Polk County Democrat recognized Dusty’s Camper World in Bartow, Fla., to its recent selection to RVBusiness magazine’s Top 50 RV dealers in North America.
“Despite the obstacles we have faced in recent years, including the struggling economy and even a storm that caused extensive damage this past August, we have a resiliency to bounce back and continually try to improve our service and selection for customers,” said Dusty’s General Manager Jeff Crum.
Dusty’s has been in business for 44 years. It is at 7400 State Road 60 East in Bartow.
The Top 50 were recognized at an Oct. 9 awards dinner at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
U.S. and Canadian recreation vehicle and park model manufacturers nominated dealers. A judging panel of independent industry veterans selected the Top 50. Criteria was not based on sales, but on customer service and satisfaction, employee training and education, and sound planning and initiatives, the magazine said in a press release.
“Because we received so much more information and from more dealers, it was a long two days for the judges before they could settle on the Top 50,” RVBusiness publisher Sherman Goldenberg said.
Some of the recreational vehicles, some weighing nearly 14,000 pounds, were catapulted nearly 500 feet across the parking lot, The Ledger reported.
Nearly all of those lining the dealership’s lot on State Road 60 were pushed away from the curb.
“It’s amazing what a little wind can do,” Crum said. “It was like (Hurricane) Charley all over again. Thank God nobody was hurt.”
Crum said 16 of the RV trailers were totaled and 26 were heavily damaged.
But those numbers may change when insurance adjusters arrive from Chicago later today. The dealership’s totals don’t take into account what water damage may have been done, said sales associate Trent Huelle.
“Many of the vents were ripped off the tops,” he said. “We’re trying to assess all the damage, but we don’t want to touch anything until the insurance company arrives.”