Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays RV recently announced that the company has reached a major multiyear partnership agreement with the Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) that will provide the dealership with a full calendar of branded events all year long for three years.
According to a press release, Lazydays and the FSFA will both benefit from promotional commitments and support during the Annual State Fair and year-round events, concerts and festivals.
“There are a number of large RV shows and many other events that are in line with the Lazydays RV lifestyle like equestrian events, boat shows and home shows held throughout the year at the State Fairgrounds,” said Lazydays Chief Marketing Officer John Lebbad. “Through this new partnership, we have a unique opportunity to connect on a broader level with existing and potential customers from across the state and beyond.”
The agreement with FSFA will greatly expand the Lazydays brand with engaging marketing events and exclusive Lazydays brand experiences 12 months out of the year at the fairgrounds, the company said. The partnership will further enhance the marketing goals to connect with the Lazydays core customer base – Baby Boomers, families and retirees – and keep them informed of the latest offerings and updates from the company and leading RV manufacturers.
According to Lebbad, in addition to signage at the fairgrounds, Lazydays will display luxury RVs throughout the property at big events.
“Lazydays is committed to our goal of supporting hometown families and our community,” said FSFA Executive Director Chuck Pesano. “Lazydays has been a great neighbor to the Florida State Fairgrounds for many years now, and we are excited to take our relationship to an exciting new partnership.”
“Lazydays and The Florida State Fair Authority have a lot in common,” said Lazydays CEO Tim Sheehan. “We’re a great fit because we both enjoy customers who celebrate family, adventure and discovering new travel opportunities.”
Lazydays will kick off the new three-year partnership with FSFA as the presenting sponsor of “Heroes Day” at the Florida State Fair. “Heroes Day” will be held opening day of the Florida State Fair on Feb. 6, honoring military, first responders, police and firefighters with free admission (with proper identification), VA Hospital mobile unit services and access to opening day ceremonies. Lazydays will also offer a one-week stay at an RV Campground, complete with RV, give-away to a lucky “hero.”
Visitors to this year’s Florida State Fair might be forgiven if they believe Lazydays RV just bought the whole property.
As reported by the Tampa Tribune, the RV megadealership on Interstate 4 has just made a significant sponsorship deal with the agency managing the fairground to place the Lazydays brand name all over the property, all year long, and just in time for this year’s state fair, starting Thursday (Feb. 6).
There will be Lazydays signs at the entrances facing U.S. 301 and Orient Road. There will be Lazydays banners on many buildings. There’s already the Lazydays logo on the website for the Florida State Fair for Heroes Day (“Presented by Lazydays”), and Lazydays will park luxury RVs throughout the property during big events as advertisements for the dealership. The dealership will even provide up to 25 RVs on-site during the fair for use by fair staff.
“This is a big deal for us because we’re playing in a marketing discipline that we’ve never played in before,” said John Lebbad, the chief marketing officer of Lazydays, who joined the company in July. “This is really only a starting point, though.”
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Jacksboro, Tenn.-based TrailManor Manufacturing Co. announced today (Jan. 27) that an agreement has been reached with Lazydays RV to represent the builder’s ultralight “retractable” travel trailers.
“TrailManor has been manufacturing these low profile trailers for 31 years,” said Cleo Jean Eickhoff, vice president of marketing for TrailManor. “Our unique and patented Torsion Power Lift System has a lifetime warranty and is the secret to a one-person easy setup. Our trailers feature ultra-low towing for safer and more economical travel, but when set up, they are hard-walled and have all the amenities of a large camper.”
Lazydays RV, known for years for its success in the motorhome business, has significantly increased towable sales in recent years. “We look for TrailManor to provide an excellent opportunity for customers that want or need to tow with a minivan or SUV,” said Ron Fleming, general sales manager for Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays. “They can also save big by storing their TrailManor right at home in their garage and not having to pay for storage. With most models weighing less than 3,000 pounds, we see a huge selling opportunity with customers that do not want to buy a big truck.”
He added, “We love the versatility of TrailManor. Uses range from soccer moms to traveling clear across the country economically.”
Editor’s Note: The following is a Q&A with Lazydays RV CEO Tim Sheehan conducted by the Tampa Bay Times during the Florida RV SuperShow.
Tim Sheehan spent 28 years focused on TVs, computers and electronics as a salesman and executive for Best Buy. Last year, he hit the road, landing the job as chief executive officer for Lazydays, a top seller of recreational vehicles. More a techie than a camper, Sheehan immersed himself in the RV business, visiting manufacturers and shadowing salespeople pitching motor homes with prices upward of $350,000. During his first eight months, Lazydays revamped its website, replaced the phone system at its 126-acre campus in Seffner and opened a call center. Up next? Plans to add locations up north to expand Lazydays’ reach and boost revenue, now at about $500 million a year.
In an interview at the Florida RV SuperShow, which runs through Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Sheehan, 49, spoke about the appeal of RVs and the importance of a single sale.
What attracted you to the position?
One of the things I found exciting is the spirit of RVing. It’s about getting outdoors, doing something you really enjoy and about being with people you enjoy being with. And it’s doing it in an amazing vehicle. A lot of these things are like houses on wheels. I was blown away by the level of innovation. The RV industry has taken all of the things we love in our residential world and put them into an RV, from more comfortable cushions and couches to wireless Internet and satellite TV.
Have you done much RVing?
When I was young, my family had a towable RV, but I have very limited experience. Growing up in the city (of Minneapolis), we always aspired to get out into the country. I really love the outdoors.
What’s the difference between selling electronics and RVs?
In the RV business, most of the salespeople are on commission, and it’s clear to me why. You have to be patient and committed and stick with people through the buying process. The salesperson has to be well-trained, not only on the product, but they also have to understand how to interact and work with people. It’s an amazing process to watch.
What experiences from Best Buy are helping you at Lazydays?
One of the things I loved about Best Buy was that when I started out, it was a $50 million company. When I left, it was $50 billion. But when I look back at what period I enjoyed the most, it was the first 10 or 15 years, when it was smaller and growing and you felt you could have an impact. Lazydays is a very robust, midsized company that does a lot of revenue but was at that stage where it had a lot of growth potential. I was drawn to that.
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Lazydays RV announced the appointment of Ron Fleming as general sales manager of its Seffner, Fla., location.
According to a press release, Fleming brings more than 33 years experience in the RV industry with a focus on sales team management. In addition to sales experience, Fleming’s responsibilities have included inventory, marketing, service, finance and insurance.
“I am thrilled that Ron has joined our leadership team and confident that he will elevate our sales organization to a whole new level,” said Tim Sheehan, president and CEO of Lazydays. “Most importantly, Ron shares our values around providing customers the best RV experience in the industry.”
“I am honored by this opportunity to join Lazydays during the onset of what is gearing up to be an incredible business transformation,” Fleming said. “I look forward to contributing to and enhancing the initiatives that make Lazydays the ‘RV Authority.’”
AmeriGO RV Club, soon to launch as the “ultimate RV club and online community dedicated to RV enthusiasts,” announced the affiliation of Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays RV. According to a press release, the iconic Lazydays brand has been named the newest “charter dealership” in AmeriGO RV Club’s coast-to-coast Certified Dealership Program.
“We are extremely pleased to be adding this outstanding dealership and celebrated brand to our coast-to-coast dealership network,” said Joe McAdams, chairman of AmeriGO RV Club. “Our members will enjoy the highest levels of service and peace of mind as they travel in and around Tampa, Fla., and Tucson, Ariz., with Lazydays RV as part of our high-quality dealership network.”
Tim Sheehan, CEO of Lazydays, added, ”With a parallel dedication to enhancing the RV lifestyle for RVers everywhere as well as a shared focus on fostering positive growth of RVing, we are proud to be affiliating with this premier RV club and look forward to providing enormously valuable benefits and the highest level of service to its members.”
Lazydays, founded in 1976, has grown to be one of the highest profile destination RV sites in North America. The dealership offers one of the largest assortments of new and pre-owned RVs in the country and is staffed with experienced and knowledgeable sales experts. Operating from two locations, Lazydays has 300 service bays staffed with RVIA/RVDA certified and master certified technicians, a multi-million dollar parts inventory, RV parts and accessories store, and provides customers complimentary RV training courses led by the industry’s top RV experts.
AmeriGO’s exclusive coast-to-coast Certified RV Dealership Program is focused on enhancing the RV owners’ experience and strengthening dealer partners’ businesses; the program is free for qualifying dealerships. AmeriGO charter dealers are awarded territories on an exclusive basis. Ongoing new dealer partner development is currently under way.
For dealer inquiries and program details concerning AmeriGo RV Club, contact Jeff Martin at (513) 236-7512. For general inquiries about AmeriGO RV Club, email email@example.com.
Lazydays RV and Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) have reached agreement on the sale of the Lazydays RV Campground in Tucson, Ariz., to KOA.
According to a press release, the campground will now be known as the Tucson/Lazydays KOA Campground. It will join 486 other locations in the KOA system throughout North America.
Lazydays RV CEO Tim Sheehan said the agreement with KOA includes a marketing agreement that allows the two iconic outdoor industry brands to work together to promote both the campground and Lazydays RV, which will continue to operate a Lazydays RV dealership and service center at the Tucson site.
“We are confident that Lazydays RV and KOA, working together, will provide an unparalleled RV ownership and camping experience for guests,” Sheehan said. “KOA and Lazydays will also work together to increase awareness of our businesses among our respective customers.”
KOA President Pat Hittmeier said Lazydays’ culture of “extraordinary customer care” fits well with KOA’s focus on guest service.
“I’m confident that the synergy created by combining our two respected brands will exceed our expectations at all levels, Hittmeier said. “It was quite evident as this transaction developed that KOA and Lazydays have a healthy amount of respect and trust for each other, which allowed us to proceed to this point. We’re looking forward to a very bright future at the new Tucson/Lazydays KOA.”
The agreement on the Tucson property will be finalized in early November, after KOA completes the due diligence process at the campground.
A final judgment order in the protracted litigation involving Lazydays RV and the company’s founder and former CEO allows Lazydays to buy its Seffner, Fla., site for $24.6 million, based on appraisals.
According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the Hillsborough County circuit court judge’s final order on Aug. 5 also assessed I-4 Land Holdings $11.4 million for damages to Lazydays, plus attorneys fees, according to court records.
Lazydays, the largest single site RV center in the country, is owned by LDRV Holdings Corp., but was previously owned by Tampa entrepreneur and real estate magnate Don Wallace – the owner of I-4 Land Holdings.
Wallace sold the RV dealership in 1999 and formed I-4, which leased the RV center property along Interstate 4 to Lazydays.
When Lazydays decided to exercise an option in the lease in 2011 to buy the 126 acres, I-4 denied there was an option. The dispute went to breach of contract litigation,and a judge ruled in favor of Lazydays in May, deciding there was an option for the company to buy the property.
During the first quarter, Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays achieved a year-over-year towable unit sales increase of 73%, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) point of sales data.
“We were able to achieve this success through great people, great brands and great commitment,” Jim Lazzarino, Lazydays towable sales manager, said in a press release.
In May of 2012, Lazydays launched a companywide initiative that focused on travel trailer and fifth-wheel products. As part of that initiative, the employees of Lazydays dedicated themselves to providing a high level of customer service. “Everyone from marketing to sales to our delivery team made it a focus,” comments Lazzarino. “It’s been exciting to see how our entire company has been energized by working this initiative and the pleasure that we all receive in making customers for life is the highest reward.”
Lazydays carries some of the nation’s premier fifth-wheel and travel trailer brands, including, Coachmen, CrossRoads RV, Dutchmen, Dynamax, Forest River, Grand Design, Heartland, Keystone RV, Redwood, Primetime, Airstream, Northstar, Lance, Travel Lite, SignaTour Campers and DRV Luxury Suites.
For more information, visit www.Lazydays.com.
The drawn-out court battle pitting Lazydays RV founder Don Wallace against LDRV Holdings Corp., the current owners of the Seffner, Fla., dealership, moved forward last week as a circuit court ruled in favor of Lazydays and LDRV on several key issues.
The dispute, which began brewing as early as 2006, centers on land housing the dealership along I-4 near Tampa, owned by Wallace – bought through I-4 Land Holding Limited Co. – and leased to LDRV. In a statement issued by Lazydays to RVBUSINESS.com, the company noted:
“In 2011, Lazydays exercised the option in its lease to purchase the property on which its dealership is located in Seffner. Its landlord (Wallace) disputed the existence of this option and maintained that Lazydays should remain a tenant. This matter went to trial and last week the court ruled in favor of Lazydays on the issues heard during the trial. This is a multistep process and Lazydays will address the remaining issues as the court requires.”
Court records indicate that Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Herbert J. Baumann Jr. ruled that I-4 had breached the purchase contract while also ruling “against I-4 as to all its claims, counterclaims and defenses.”
The court will reconvene in approximately 60 days to “consider arguments concerning the price to be given for the purchase option.”