The newly renovated Camping World store in of Hanover, Pa., is open for business, offering products to complement and enhance just about every outdoor or vacation activity, according to a report by the Evening Sun.
The business, formerly known as Reichart’s Camping Center, was owned by Dan Saltzgiver since 1990. Saltzgiver is now the general manager of the store, which he sold to Camping World Inc. (CWI) in August 2012.
The old store was closed for one month for renovations and expansion, Saltzgiver said, with the new 8,000-square-foot Camping World of Hanover opening officially on Feb. 8.
With the much larger store it was also necessary to bring in 11 new hires, Saltzgiver said, with the store and service department now having a combined total of 32 full-time and part-time employees. The store’s service department is also being expanded to handle more vehicles, Saltzgiver said, but will continue to offer the same exceptional workmanship and friendly service.
Camping World is “America’s Number One RV dealer” comprised of a conglomerate of 80 retailers across the country, Saltzgiver said, which allows the local store to offer a much wider variety of products and many more RV and camper choices.
“The store is now four times bigger than before and we are offering a lot items that have not been available before – and not just products for RVs or campers.” Saltzgiver said, “We have lots of new items that would be perfect for a home patio or on a fancy picnic.”
The new expanded inventory includes a great selection of items that would be welcome assets for any camping trip or home patio, Saltzgiver said, such as portable electric fireplaces with realistic logs, lounge chairs, patio tables and chairs, a plethora of barbeque grills, plus many unique children’s toys.
“We have a whole area dedicated for children,” Saltzgiver said, “We have a huge variety of toys and games to occupy kids in a car or anywhere else.”
“We want people to realize that we aren’t just a camping store. We have a whole lot more to offer,” Saltzgiver said, “We want people to know that the items they need and want are already here and are ready to ‘pick up and go.’”
While the picnic and patio accessories, children’s toys and miscellaneous gear might bring many non-campers to the store, Saltzgiver said, customers looking for a good buy prior to ‘hitting the road’ will also appreciate what Camping World has to offer.
Within a few weeks the eight and one-half acre tract surrounding Camping World will be home to a rolling stock RV and camper inventory that will be more than doubled, Saltzgiver said, including motorized Class A and Class C units, some of which were not carried by the former Reichart’s.
“We used to stock about 100 to 115 units but now we are going to have well over 200 units on site all the time,” Saltzgiver said, “We will have a whole lot more to offer, not just in accessories.”
Camping World Inc. today (Aug. 6) announced that it has acquired Reichart’s Camping Center, an existing RV dealership in Hanover, Pa., headed by veteran dealer Dan Saltzgiver.
According to a press release, the location will offer RV sales, service and accessories on its 8 1/2-acre RV sales lot. Camping World noted that it is also set to announce plans for its new superCenter in Erie, Pa., in 2013.
Officially named Camping World of Hanover, the dealership has easy access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Baltimore Beltway will feature new and pre-owned motorhomes and towables.
Saltzgiver, the former owner of Reichart’s Camping Center, will join Camping World in a senior level capacity operating the Hanover location while assisting to build market share in the Harrisburg, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia areas.
Saltzgiver comes to the Camping World team with 30 years of experience in the RV Industry. He is currently on the Pennsylvania State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons. He is also the show chairman for the annual Hershey RV Show run by the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), a board member for the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) and a member of the RVIA’s Ad Hoc Destination Camping Committee.
“The acquisition of the Hanover location is a perfect strategic fit for us in terms of the location being contiguous to our existing business as well as allowing for expansion and broadening our market share throughout Pennsylvania as well as nearby Maryland and Washington, DC,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “We are delighted to enhance our Camping World presence, increase our representation to existing and prospective RV owners and expand our service and product offering.”
Camping World of Hanover is the second location in Pennsylvania for Camping World RV Sales. Camping World’s Grumbines RV is located an hour away in southern Pennsylvania.
Camping World expects to open the new supercenter in Hanover in September and will have the current employees at the Reichart’s location join the Camping World staff. The location will also be adding additional positions for seasoned and professional RV sales associates, technicians and retail support.
The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Show drew a record 31,710 visitors Sept. 16-20 at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., an increase of 14% over last year.
And by all accounts, manufacturers exhibiting at the East Coast’s biggest annual trade and retail show were pleased with the outcome.
“Traffic was real good,” said Tim Tiffin, general manager of Tiffin Motor Homes, Red Bay, Ala. “It was a good bit over what we had last year. We were very pleased. It concreted our assertion that business has been getting better over the last few months.”
Although space of 440,787 square feet sold before the show was a little more than half of what it was last year, 59 manufacturers represented by 47 dealers displayed about 700 units while 117 suppliers occupied indoor and outdoor booths.
“We weren’t off on the number of manufacturers, but many of them downsized their display a lot,” said Heather Leach, director of education and marketing for the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA). “But people were there to buy. From the dealers and manufacturers that we talked to, they all had an excellent show. Some told us it was the best show they had had in years.”
“It was a fabulous show,” said show Chairman Dan Saltzgiver, owner of Reichart’s Camping Center, Hanover, Pa., who sold all 17 Forest River Rockwood travel trailers Reichart’s brought to Hershey. “Hopefully it’s an indication that the economy and industry is turning around.”
The Chicago area-based Camping World dealership network sold almost 400 units at its nine dealership display in Hershey, said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO.
“We sold 393 units for the show,” Lemonis said. “The bulk, more than 150, were Keystone (towables). What was most surprising, though, was the number of motorized we did. We did 68, most of them Class A’s.”
“Their displays did very well for us,” said Bob Martin, Keystone RV Co. executive vice president. “We don’t have our tallies in yet, but it looks like we sold more than we did last year.
“It was a sale environment and customers were definitely in a buying mode, which bodes well for the fall buying season and for next spring. The Hershey show always is an indicator. We definitely see this as a positive for our company and the industry.”
While declining to provide specific sales numbers, Roger Martin, Winnebago Industries Inc. vice president of sales and marketing, said that show sales were up 30% compared to last year.
“Traffic was excellent,” Martin said. “We had a very nice mix of products retailed — from Class C’s to Class A gas to Class A diesel. Consumer interest in our new Winnebago Via and Itasca Reyo was stellar — with lines waiting to get inside the units.”
Brian Wilkins, general manager of Wilkins RV in Bath, N.Y., said he was busy Monday sorting out orders. “There seemed to be for everybody very brisk business activity,” Wilkins said, noting that most of consumer’s interest was in fifth-wheels retailing from $30,000 to $70,000.
Recreational park trailer sales apparently also did well. “There were some happy looking manufactures that I talked to who said that things were moving,” said Bill Garpow, president of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA).
PRVCA’s Leach attributed part of the attendance boost to increased national magazine advertising and radio and TV promotions that reached into New York and Ohio. The weather also cooperated for a change.