Wyoming Dealer Notes Upturn, But Will It Last?

April 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the RV business picking up?

Too early to tell, but Steve Hamlin, owner of Jolley Rodgers RV Sales and Service in Cheyenne, Wyo., told KGWN-TV, Cheyenne,  that  last week was his best week since last August. 

He also says he’s getting creative. He’s teaming with Maverick Motorsports and Sierra Trading Post for a tent sale this weekend to try and get more customers interested.

The bottom line in all of this is the same bottom line for most every luxury item right now. “Right now, everybody’s just scared and holding onto their money,” Hamlin says.

Every day it’s the same feeling when Hamlin goes to work. “It’s heartburn every day,” he says.

And every day it’s the same routine. Hamlin says, “Waitin’ for the customers to show up and look at the RVs.”

A year ago this month, there were four RV dealerships in Cheyenne. Today, there are only two and business isn’t getting any easier.

“Tough!” That’s the one word that can sum up being an owner of an RV business in Cheyenne over the past year, according to Hamlin.

Hamilin adds, “It’s been hard. Gas prices started it, but really the economy, the luxury items are the first things that get cut.”

It’s not that people aren’t buying, they’re not even looking! The silence is deafening. Hamlin also says, “The volume of people walking onto our lot to look at our inventory has just drastically dropped off.”

Making money seems impossible with the way the market has changed.

“The profit margins have shrunk, everybody’s got older inventory that they’re sitting there, going, ‘I gotta get rid of this’ and they’re markin’ it down.”

The older product is not the only problem. Hamil also says, “It’s just really the new sales, the sales of the units that’s really been impacted as they cut back on those luxury purchases.”

Then there are the “Orphans.” Hamils explains, “They’re sitting on a lot full of inventory on your dealership lot and the manufacturer of the items goes out of business and they’re orphans. You’re sitting there trying to sell to the general public and they have no warranties anymore.”

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