In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Tom Johnson Camping Center is donating a portion of its gross profits for the entire month of October to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
All transactions at both Marion and Concord locations during October will contribute to the total amount raised, including new RV sales, parts and service. The RV dealership will present the total amount raised at the end of the month to Komen for the Cure, according to a news release.
“Breast cancer is a disease that affects thousands each year,” said Gary Stroud, vice president of Tom Johnson Camping Center. “Komen for the Cure is a fantastic organization that heightens breast cancer awareness and we are excited to contribute to such an organization here at Tom Johnson Camping Center.”
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a global leader in the breast cancer movement, having invested nearly $1.5 billion since its inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, Komen for the Cure works together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. For additional information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure log on to www.Komen.org.
Since opening its doors for business in 1967, Tom Johnson Camping Center has always prided itself on providing customers with superior service. Recently, the locally-owned dealer, with locations in Marion and Concord, N.C., was rewarded for its efforts, being honored with the prestigious Newmar Corp. Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award, according to the Ashville Citizen-Times.
The CSI Award, given annually since 2001, is presented to Newmar dealers who scored in a pre-determined percentile based on results from customer surveys. Tom Johnson Camping Center is the only dealer in North Carolina to receive the award for 2009. Newmar is a Nappanee, Ind.-based RV manufacturer.
“Everyone at Tom Johnson Camping Center is honored to receive the Newmar CSI Award,” said Gary Stroud, vice president of Tom Johnson Camping Center. “We were founded on the principle of outstanding customer service and it has remained a top priority for over 40 years.”
The CSI is another in a long list of honors and awards won by Tom Johnson Camping Center over the years. In 2008, the dealership received the first Dave Altman Award by RVBusiness magazine as No. 1 RV dealership in the nation.
TJCC is among the Top 10 RV dealerships nationwide. With expertise in sales, service, parts and rentals, TJCC offers a comprehensive selection of motorhomes, fifth-wheels, travel trailers and folding camping trailers.
A luxury motorcoach worth more than $1.5 million will headline the North Carolina RV & Camping Show which opens a three-day run Friday at the Charlotte Convention Center, but show organizers say there will be bargain-priced recreational vehicles available also, according to the Charlotte Observer.
A 14-foot-long recreational vehicle called the K-Z RV Sportsman Classic sells for $5,995 and features what show organizers say is a retro look.
“You’ve got to see this RV to believe it,” said Steve Plemmons, president and CEO of Bill Plemmons RV World, one of the Carolinas’ major recreation vehicle dealers. “It is so lightweight and compact, and the low price makes it obtainable for more RV’ers than ever.”
But also on display will be the Featherlite Luxury Coach, brought to the show by Tom Johnson Camping Center, another major RV dealer. It is 45 feet long and features Corian countertops, a fully equipped kitchen, marble flooring, a 42-inch LCD television, custom fiber opting lighting, and more.
The 21st Annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show, which took place this past weekend at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, boasted increased attendance and strong sales among participating RV dealers.
With over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a 10% expansion in outside space, the show offered a wide variety of products and services to RV and camping enthusiasts looking to explore the great outdoors, according to a news release.
Regional Show Manager Anthony Tedesco reported an increase in attendance over last year’s show. “The response from dealers and exhibitors was extremely positive,” said Tedesco. “Show attendees were definitely excited about the RV lifestyle and that really showed. Several RV dealers reported significant growth in sales and felt very positive about the upcoming year due to this event.”
Jeff Haughton, vice president/eastern region at Affinity Events division of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), continues to emphasize a positive outlook in these challenging times. “The consumer response to this event reaffirms the fact that the RV lifestyle is attractive and affordable during these uncertain economic times. RVing continues to be a great option for families, those with pets and people who enjoy exploring the country back roads and highways.”
Gary Stroud, vice president of Tom Johnson Camping Center, is a perfect example of the show’s success. “Not only did we see our sales rise 30% from last year, we also saw people who were excited to explore all the RVs and discover how much fun RVing can be. It was an amazing event and even with the freezing temperatures, it was amazing to see just how many people came to the show.”
Steve Plemmons, owner and president of Bill Plemmons RV World and president of the North Carolina Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), confirmed the show exceeded his expectations on every level. “This was a great show for us,” said Plemmons. “The signs were very positive with our sales up 14%, high traffic count and attractive RV displays — we’re really excited for the upcoming Affinity Events shows in Charlotte and Raleigh.”
Plemmons also exhibited a “green” RV, the EverGreen Ever-Lite travel trailer, manufactured by Elkhart, Ind.-based company, Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC. Attendees were excited to see the first-ever environmentally certified RV with its use of composite materials, rather than traditional wood products.
The success of the show is no surprise to those who love RVing. Shipments of RVs in October 2009 totaled 16,600, an increase of 23% over October 2008 shipments. Although the current economic climate has been a challenge for the recreation industry as a whole, RVing has remained popular, as it is a more affordable alternative to many other forms of travel.
Affinity Events will welcome RV enthusiasts to get ready for the great outdoors in February with the Charlotte and Raleigh RV & Camping Shows. These shows will feature a variety of RVs, campground information and accessories along with expert advice and entertainment.
AGI is the parent company of Affinity Events and RVBUSINESS.COM.
Fleetwood RV Inc. recognized its 2009 Top Dealers and Circle of Excellence award recipients this week during the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
Fleetwood’s Top Dealer awards are given to dealers who have retailed the most units in a 12-month period. The Circle of Excellence is awarded to dealers who have achieved superior customer satisfaction with at least 93.5% of their customers in a 12-month period, according to a news release.
“We have the best dealer network in the industry,” said John Draheim, Fleetwood president and COO. “Our dealers are a crucial part of our success, and the Top Dealer and Circle of Excellence awards help us acknowledge their sales and customer service excellence, as well as thank them for their ongoing support.”
Fleetwood’s 2009 Overall Top Dealer award winners are:
- Lazydays RV SuperCenter, Seffner, Fla., Overall Motorhome Top Dealer (single location) and Overall American Coach Top Dealer (single location).
- Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores, Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Overall Motorhome Top Dealer (multi-location).
Fleetwood RV also presented 2009 Top Dealer awards to eight dealerships who were the No. 1 motorhome brand retailers.
In addition, over 20 dealers achieved Fleetwood’s 2009 Circle of Excellence Award. Particularly noteworthy were Tom Johnson Camping Center in Marion, N.C., and Farnsworth Camping Center Inc. in Elysburg, Pa., both of which have achieved the Circle of Excellence every year since the award’s inception in 1991.
A Florida man accused in what authorities have termed the “most expensive theft in county history” is finally behind bars in North Carolina’s McDowell County six years after they say he committed the crime.
Joseph Roger O’Donnell Jr., 64, of Fort Myers is charged with one count of felony larceny. He was jailed under a $230,000 bond, according to The McDowell News, Marion, N.C.
Sheriff Dudley Greene said O’Donnell is responsible for stealing a motorhome, valued at nearly half a million dollars, off Tom Johnson’s Camping Center’s lot in Marion in October 2003.
The suspect also faced charges in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. He was supposed to be returned to McDowell after disposing of those cases, but, due to an error, he was released. Local authorities learned of O’Donnell’s location and brought him to McDowell earlier this month on the larceny offense.
McDowell investigators recovered the RV in Alabama back in 2003.
The 2004 American Eagle motorhome, valued at $463,000, was shown at an RV sale one weekend in October 2003, brought back to Marion that Sunday and reported missing the following Tuesday.
Later that week, McDowell detectives tracked the vehicle to Nashville, Tenn., but found only the GPS system. The motorhome was gone.
Witnesses in Tennessee were able to ID O’Donnell, and employees at Tom Johnson’s viewed a picture and confirmed that O’Donnell had looked at the motorhome at the RV show just days before the vehicle was taken, according to Greene.
Information about the suspect was entered in a national crime database. Authorities in Georgia located him shortly thereafter and discovered that he was wanted.
American Coach, the luxury motorhome division of Fleetwood RV Inc., Wednesday announced its first retail delivery since American Industrial Partners (AIP) acquired the company in late July.
The owners, Kenneth and Sharon Brown, purchased their new motorhome — a 2009 American Eagle 45E — shortly after the launch of Fleetwood RV Inc. and took final delivery early last week at Tom Johnson Camping Center in Concord, N.C.
“Since 1991, American Coach has been one of the most respected luxury motorhome brands in the industry,” said John Draheim, president of Fleetwood RV Inc. “The success we have had over the years has been no accident because the core philosophy of American Coach is to provide industry-leading customer and dealer service. We would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Brown for their business and warmly welcome them into the American Coach family.”
“American Coach has been a favorite with our customers for almost 20 years,” said Gary Stroud, part owner/ general manager for Tom Johnson Camping Center. “American Coach manufactures beautifully-crafted coaches that include the innovations and amenities our customers could ever want or need. At Tom Johnson’s, our customers come first, a philosophy shared by the entire American Coach team, which is why we know that Kenneth and Sharon will be very happy in their new American Eagle for many years to come.”
“Our American Eagle marks a new beginning of our RV lifestyle,” said Sharon Brown. “We have owned other RVs, but the quality craftsmanship, unparalleled ride and well-thought out details on our American Eagle makes us feel like our beautiful home just got wheels. Everyone at Tom Johnson’s and American Coach has gone above and beyond to help make our experience even better than expected. Thanks so much for our wonderful coach”
Built on Liberty Chassis, American Eagle features opposing 30-inch deep flush-floor slide boxes that create an open residential feel unmatched in the industry and offers innovative full-wall slide technology (certain models). Key amenities include 32-inch LCD HDTV, hardwood cabinetry, full-length bedroom wardrobe, and optional queen bed from Select Comfort.
All American Coach products include a complimentary one-year membership to CoachNet. This invaluable 24/7 service provides customers with emergency roadside service and other RV technical assistance, so they can have peace of mind knowing that help is available anywhere, at anytime.
For more information about American Coach, call (800) 435-7345 or visit www.americancoach.com.