Minnesota-based Noble RV is holding a grand opening this weekend at its newest store in Madelia, according to a report by the Saint James Plaindealer.
The family owned dealership, founded in Owatonna in March of 2006, has been in expansion mode as the Madelia outlet represents the third new store opening by brothers Mike and Pat Noble.
“We’re very much involved in the day-to-day operation of all our dealerships,” said Mike Noble.
The new location occupies a former car dealer’s lot that offers a 5-acre parking lot and a 12,000-square-foot facility. Noble RV have made a few upgrades to the building, including the installation of new energy efficient lighting.
“The facility there is unbelievable,” said Mike Noble. “It was in pretty good condition, just needed some cleaning.”
There are about 200 RVs on site, but customers have access to inventory at all four locations. Noble RV especially focuses on service.
“Service is our main focus, we want to make sure everything goes smoothly for you,” said Mike Noble.
“The staff and service workers at Noble RV are all specially trained and certified to best fulfill the needs of their customers.”
With the grand opening, Noble RV will be offering deals on all merchandise, including parts, RVs and accessories. There will also be food and giveaways to those who visit the site during the weekend.
Recreational vehicles are selling in Minnesota’s Twin Cities in part because there are so many places to use them.
According to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report, when Jim Niemeyer opened his appliance store in St. Louis Park nearly 50 years ago, customers weren’t sure what to think when he started selling recreational vehicles. But the RVs that his father, Art, brought from Bemidji, Minn., sold quickly — so quickly that the Niemeyers closed the appliance business a few years later.
Their future, they decided was in the trailer business.
“We have everything from a modest trailer to a $500,000 motorhome with everything in it,” said Tim Niemeyer, Jim’s son, who operates the family RV business out of Maple Grove. “No matter what kind of vehicle you have, you can find something to camp in.”
As Minnesota’s tourism industry celebrated its best summer since the recession started, RV dealers have also seen a spike in business — in spite of gas prices that have recently hovered around the $4 mark.
Members of the Twin Cities Metro RV Dealers Association are seeing double-digit growth this year, with some almost 50% ahead of 2010 sales, said Lee Jones, a publicist for the association. Many of those dealers had record-breaking months this summer, he said.
The dozen RV dealers who took part in last week’s sportsman’s show at the Anoka County Fairgrounds have seen sales climb dramatically since 2008, Tim Niemeyer said.
“Back in July of 2008, when gas got up to $4.17 a gallon, everything just kind of froze up,” he said. “But I think that’s when people got the itch to travel.”
With the state’s diverse terrain, access to outdoor sport and most residents within 50 miles of a state park, Minnesota is an ideal state for trailer sales, Niemeyer said.
Most camping is done between late May and Labor Day, when kids are out of school. But Niemeyer says there’s a segment that prefers the cool campgrounds of fall, when bugs are at a minimum.
“It’s a great way to get away and relax,” he said. “Even the awnings are push button now.”
A recreational vehicle dealer is rolling to Rochester, Minn., to open its second location, according to a report by the Post Bulletin.
Noble RV, which is based near the massive Cabela’s outdoors gear store in Owatonna, has plans under way to transform seven acres at the intersection of Minnesota Highway 30 and U.S. 63, south of Rochester.
Mike Noble, who co-owns Noble RV with his brother Pat, says they hope to open the new dealership as early as mid-March. Two long-empty buildings on the rural site are being revamped.
The plan is to eventually park 100 to 150 campers on display there. About 12 employees are expected to staff the dealership. It will be about half of the size of Noble’s main dealership in Owatonna.
“We feel like the market is a little underserved over there right now. … It seems a lot of people from there are making it all the way over to Owatonna to shop,” Noble said. “We feel there is a good need and we want to try to capture more market share in the Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa market.”
The Nobles have been looking at a possible Rochester site for about two years, he says. The site between Rochester and Stewartville has been empty since a manufacturing housing business left in 2004.