Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Holiday on Wheels, an existing RV dealership in Panama City, Fla., in the next 90 to 120 days with an official grand opening a few months later.
According to a news release, plans are for the location to undergo expansion to renovate into larger facility including additional service bays, a new Camping World retail store and a state-of-the-art collision center.
“We are pleased to begin the acquisition of Holiday on Wheels and expand our market share throughout Florida,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. “We are no stranger to the state of Florida and with all the activities Panama City offers — shopping, boating, hiking, fishing, state parks, and so much more, bringing a full-service RV supercenter to better serve the RV industry makes sense and completes our presence in the Panhandle.”
The new location will be officially named Camping World of Panama City and represents the third Camping World RV supercenter in the Panhandle, with nearby locations in Tallahassee and Gulf Breeze.
“We expect the Panama City market along with its close proximity to the major tourist areas of Destin and Fort Walton to allow us to broaden our customer reach, build upon our market leadership position in recreational sales, and make Camping World the leading retailer in the growing outdoor market,” continued Lemonis.
The new outlet will add to Camping World’s future growth plans and the company expects to soon announce several additional markets of expansion throughout the country. The company will also be adding new positions for seasoned and professional RV sales associates, technicians and retail support to join current employees at the Holiday on Wheels location as the facility expands.
Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced the signing of an agreement to acquire American RV, an existing RV dealership in Olive Branch, Miss., in the next 60 to 90 days.
According to a news release, plans are for the location to undergo expansion to renovate into larger facility including additional service bays, a new Camping World retail store and a state-of-the-art collision center. The company has nearby RV supercenters in the Little Rock, Nashville and Calera markets and a total of seven stores in the greater regional area. American RV is owned by Peter Albano, who previously served as Convention/Expo Chairman for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
“We are pleased to begin the acquisition of American RV and expand our market share throughout Mississippi as well as nearby Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. “We expect the greater Memphis market to allow us to broaden our customer reach, build upon our market leadership position in recreational sales, and make Camping World the leading retailer in the growing outdoor market.”
Lemonis continued, “Our goal is to add more quality manufacturers and brands, increase our presence in the market, and grow the work force. The greater Memphis area is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts to fish, hike, camp, and swim and just enjoy life. We are excited to begin serving this market. “
The new location, officially named Camping World of Memphis, is the first full-service location in Mississippi for the company. However, Camping World, Lemonis and his family have long-standing ties to the nearby Memphis area with its continuous support of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which provides pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
The new outlet will add to Camping World’s future growth plans and the company expects to soon announce several additional markets of expansion throughout the country. The company will also be adding new positions for seasoned and professional RV sales associates, technicians and retail support to join current employees at the American RV location as the facility expands.
Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Camping World RV Sales today (March 20) reported 2012 revenue on rolling stock sales of $1.48 billion, a 28.8% increase over 2011.
According to a news release, income from operations for the year totaled $67.4 million, an increase of 74% over 2011 results.
The company noted that the results do not include revenue or income from operations of the company’s affiliate Good Sam Enterprises LLC.
An employee of Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC was declared the winner on “the Biggest Loser: Challenge America,” the NBC reality weight-loss competition currently in its 14th season. According to a press release, Danni Allen, a 26-year-old advertising coordinator from Wheeling, Ill., lost 121 pounds while competing on the show.
“From Day 1, I did not know this was in me,” she said. “I was a scared, self-conscious person. I did not know I could be here. I did not know I could get past the first workout. I didn’t know that my dreams were possible and I finally feel like my dreams come true… I feel amazing.”
When she started on the show, Allen weighed 258 pounds. She finished at 137 pounds and lost 46.9% of her starting body weight by eating healthy and plenty of daily exercise.
Besides taking the “Biggest Loser” crown, Allen took home the $250,000 cash prize.
“As a company we are pleased to share in Danni’s achievements in reaching her health and fitness goals,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. “She is a shining example of corporate wellness and the entire company and the RV industry was rooting for her from the beginning.”
Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC today (March 14) announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Camper Coaches, an existing RV dealership in Lubbock, Texas, in the next 30 to 60 days. According to a press release, plans are for the location to undergo expansion to renovate into a larger facility including additional service bays, a new Camping World retail store and a state of the art collision center.
“We are pleased to begin the acquisition of Camper Coaches and expand our market share throughout Texas as well as nearby New Mexico and Oklahoma,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. “We expect the Lubbock market to allow us to broaden our customer reach, build upon our market leadership position in recreational sales, and make Camping World the leading retailer in the growing outdoor market.”
He added, “I always look for three things – people, process and product – in relation to enhancing our Camping World and Good Sam presence. Our goal is to add more quality manufacturers and brands, increase our presence in the market, and grow the work force.”
Camping World of Lubbock, with easy access off Interstate 27, will offer a wide array of RV sales, service, collision, parts and accessories for the outdoor enthusiast. It represents the fourth full-service location in Texas for Camping World along with outlets in the San Antonio, El Paso and Houston markets as well as two stand-alone retail stores in the state.
Lemonis said the new supercenter will add to Camping World’s future growth plans and the company expects to soon announce several additional markets of expansion in the state of Texas. Camping World of Lubbock will also be creating additional positions for seasoned and professional RV sales associates, technicians and retail support as the facility expands, joining the current employees at the Camper Coaches location.
Camping World Inc. (CWI) and Good Sam Enterprises LLC today (March 8) announced plans to open a new supercenter in the Valdosta, Ga., market in November.
According to a press release, Camping World of Valdosta will feature the first co-located, co-branded 150-site campground and rally park for the company. In addition, the store will offer a wide array of RV sales, service, collision, parts and accessories for the outdoor enthusiast.
The new supercenter will join almost 100 other locations across the U.S., including four Georgia stores in the Atlanta, Macon and Savannah markets. Camping World of Valdosta will be located off I-75, exit 5, in Lake Park.
“We are excited to bring the Camping World one-stop shopping experience to Valdosta with our full-service RV lifestyle center that includes our proto-type Good Sam licensed RV campground,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. “City leaders and landowners have embraced our recent acquisition because it puts money directly back into the local economy, brings jobs and helps to build revenue for businesses. Everyone wants to see success in their community.”
The co-located Good Sam park will take affordable family camping to a new level in the greater Valdosta area, according to Camping World. Visitors to the campground portion of the property will choose from 150 full-service campsites, including park models, as well as swimming pools, meeting rooms, pet playgrounds and other standard amenities with special rates for Good Sam Club members.
“We feel especially fortunate to be able to create a multi-business module that serves our southern Georgia and northern Florida communities with a wide choice of products and offering convenience off of I-75, while creating job opportunities,” said Roger Nuttall, president of Camping World Retail Group. “We look forward to serving the local community with high value products with the convenience and service fitting the greater Valdosta community’s recreational lifestyle.”
Camping World is the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer while Good Sam represents the world’s largest RV owners organization with more than 2,000 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Camping World is also the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR.
Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced the relocation of the Camping World of Ocala dealership to a new 85,000-square-foot facility in Summerfield, Fla. According to a press release, the new facility is just south of its existing location and will feature one of the largest indoor showrooms on the eastern seaboard.
“We initially acquired our Ocala location in November 2011 as part of a multi-store chain acquisition. We have realized great success, however, have not been able to execute our companies’ full offering,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. “We knew that by binding both the retail and dealership locations in our network, we would get closer to achieving our goal of truly being the one-stop shopping location for the RV and outdoor enthusiast across the country.”
Camping World expects to open the new SuperCenter in Summerfield in June 2013, which is a short drive from The Villages, a retirement community with over 75,000 residents. The Villages offers 33 golf courses, eight country clubs, a wide variety of family and adult recreational areas as well as activities like archery, painting, pickleball, quilting, scrapbooking, synchronized swimming, tae chi and yoga. In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked The Villages as Florida’s fastest growing small town. Lemonis commented, “This close proximity to the Villages is a match made in heaven.”
Ocala is also known as one of the largest equestrian communities in the country. Camping World’s existing partnership with the annual Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, coupled with this new SuperCenter located in one of the nation’s most treasured equestrian locations, further solidifies Camping World’s position as the leader in serving the horse-loving communities.
As the expansion begins, Camping World/Good Sam will add additional positions for seasoned and professional RV sales associates, technicians and retail support to assist at this new location to aid its existing employee base. Camping World’s goal is to add more quality manufacturers and brands, increase their presence in the market, and grow the workforce.
Camping World of Ocala will feature motorhomes and towables from the finest manufacturers and brands including Winnebago Industries, Fleetwood, Thor Motor Coach, Itasca, Coleman, Heartland, Keystone, Forest River, Cross Roads, 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, 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 their own private label lines of exclusive products for the RV, outdoor and home markets.
“After a thorough search in this part of Florida, which included Ocala, Gainesville, Leesburg, and Inverness we landed on Summerfield because we felt this location best served all of the aforementioned communities,” said Johnny Sirpilla, Chief Business Development Officer for Camping World and Good Sam. “Camping World has a strong history of customer service and we look forward to serving the Greater Ocala area in the near future.”
Camping World is the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer while Good Sam represents the world’s largest RV owners organization.
Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced it has extended its partnership agreement with the QBE Group through 2017 to provide customers with RV-mechanical breakdown insurance.
According to a press release, Good Sam has been a partner with insurance provider QBE since 1999, offering customers financial protection in the event of a mechanical breakdown or failure, as well as expert claims administration. Years in the making, the new Preferred Provider Network helps match problems to the right repair facility, accepts direct payment from Good Sam for covered repairs and includes facilities that stand behind their work.
“After positive customer feedback and reviewing customer satisfaction levels it made sense to extend our partnership,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Good Sam. “Good Sam management and Good Sam customers demand the highest customer service levels in the industry and QBE shares a similar philosophy and focus on quality customer service. Together we will continue to reach 100% customer satisfaction.”
Benefits of the Good Sam Extended Service Plan include full-service claims administration, sign and drive repair, customized payment plans and travel reimbursement. Customers can also visit any Camping World SuperCenter for a free 22-point RV inspection. The Good Sam Repair Network currently numbers more than 10,000 providers nationwide.
One of the most game-changing exhibits on hand for the 550 attendees at the recent National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo was that of Good Sam Enterprises LLC, where Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher of the all-new Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory, was working to spread the word on the rollout of Good Sam’s first consolidated campground directory.
Some 425,000 copies of the new print directory, a merging of two respected titles, Woodall’s North American Campground Directory and the Trailer Life Directory of RV Parks & Campgrounds, were to be released in December. And the fact that they’ve been combined is big news in the accommodations sector, as the two were often referred to as the “Bibles” of the campground arena for millions of traveling RV enthusiasts over the years.
The two publications had been co-published since the mid-1900’s by Good Sam Enterprises LLC and its predecessor, Affinity Group Inc.
The consolidation was announced earlier this year.
“I wasn’t sure what park owners were going to think when we went from two directories to one because Woodall’s is a strong brand, as is the Trailer Life Directory,” said Emerson. “But, overwhelmingly, park owners have said ‘yes.’ They have one set of directory rep teams to work with, one marketing plan and one marketing investment and rating system to understand.”
Emerson, at the same time, is spearheading the announced expansion of the Good Sam RV Park & Resort Network from her Ventura, Calif., offices in what amounts to another new twist for Chicago-based Good Sam as it seeks to extend the reach of its discount camping network to a host of new North American park operators. Emerson says things are going well with that as well.
“We started in 2012 with 1,667 Good Sam Parks in the network,” Emerson told Woodall’s Campground Management, now an independent publication based out of Elkhart, Ind. “We are ending the year with 2,133 Good Sam parks in the network. We’ve had explosive growth. The great part about that is you still have to maintain a certain rating before you can be invited to the network. We didn’t lower the quality of parks.”
So, Good Sam has been getting the word out on both fronts at the ARVC Conference and elsewhere. “We’re talking about the Good Sam brand and how the power of one investment in our directory gets you exposure to our Good Sam members, which is 1.3 million members,” said Emerson. “We also have our AAA relationship intact, the hallmark of the non-Good Sam RVer. Through a contract, AAA buys hundreds of thousands of our print directories and gives them to their AAA clubs throughout the country, and those clubs either give them to their members free or for a small charge.
“And we still have our circulation through our bookstores, obviously through Camping World, which is a big circulation channel for us as well. There are 100 Camping World (RV rolling stock and parts and accessory sales) locations.”
On the digital side, Emerson reports, the Trailer Life and Woodall’s websites are also being merged as Good Sam parks retain aggressive web exposure on the Good Sam Club site. “We have mobile apps in the digital market as well,” says Emerson. “What we do is walk into a park operator and say there’s one investment that they need. And they need to do it through Good Sam. And we work really hard to also promote our non-Good Sam parks. You can be in our directory without being a Good Sam Park.
“We obviously work really hard taking care of our Good Sam-member parks as well. Our rep teams are walking into parks and telling them we have one story to tell,” she added. “When you are with Good Sam, you are reaching this entire market, print and online.
This past weekend’s (Nov. 2-4) Good Sam Rally at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway was a successful venture in most every way it could be measured by host Good Sam Enterprises LLC, an affiliate of mega-dealer Camping World Inc., based in Lincolnshire, Ill.
With attendee coaches set up in the race track’s infield, the Daytona rally drew 3,375 consumer rigs, a public gate of about 5,000, dealer displays representing over 25 North American RV builders, a total of about 400 display coaches plus a tent full of indoor vendors occupying 300 booths.
Consumers, enjoying temperatures in the 80’s in the day and 60’s at night, were treated to an agenda of activities that included 25 daily seminars, a veterans’ parade, a dog show, area tours, fireworks displays and entertainment by C&W entertainers Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire from an outdoor stage set up near the race track’s finish line.
“We always look at it like this: We want people to enjoy the seminars, the exhibits and have a good time with the entertainment,” Good Sam Vice President of Sales Terry Thompson tells RVBUSINESS.com. “And our hope, obviously, is that they buy a lot of product from the exhibitors and, you know, that they meet new friends and have a good experience at the rally and feel good about the lifestyle.
“And I think that all that happened here,” adds Thompson, noting that the celebrity entertainment was a big plus. “I mean, this was a big rally — to get over 3,000 rigs in early November in Florida is hard to do, and we did it, and I think people were really happy with it.”
One of the key pluses for holding a rally at a raceway, which Good Sam also did earlier this year in Phoenix, is that it provides consumers with a convenient and fun means of test driving demonstration coaches right on the track. Thompson reported that 110 motorhomes were available from various manufacturers at the speedway this past weekend.
“What really helped at this rally is that people got to test drive motorhomes around the track,” said Thompson, who’s responsible for selling the exhibitor space at Good Sam’s rallies. “That’s kind of unique. You know, it’s fun. We let these guys drive all the way around. Obviously, they better stay low or they’ll tip over. But it helps people (exhibitors) get deals done.
“Of course, we can’t always hold rallies at tracks, but at least here the novelty of driving around the track is pretty cool,” he continued. “I know some manufacturers did really well, including Winnebago, Fleetwood and Tiffin. These guys were happy.”
Good Sam, the only organization other than the Cincinnati-based Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) to host national-scale rallies at this point, registered 3,370 rigs in Phoenix and 2,033 in Louisville while next year’s two rallies are slated for Albuquerque, N.M., in April and Syracuse, N.Y., in June.