Todd Munson, a former executive with now-defunct Western RV Inc., has purchased two Washington state RV dealerships in Yakima and Ellensburg in which he once held an ownership stake.
The opportunity to re-enter the RV industry was too good to pass up for Munson, president of Canopy Corners RV Inc. ”Being in the industry ever since I was a teenager, it was in my blood,” Munson told RVBUSINESS.com. ”Frankly, I missed it.”
Munson was a partner in Canopy Corners with Craig Carroll from 1998 until 2007, when Carroll bought out his shares and Munson went into semi-retirement.
The sale for an undisclosed price was final Aug. 4.
The two dealerships, employing 12 people in Yakima and six in Ellensberg, are about 40 miles apart in central Washington.
Munson, 48, joined Western RV, with headquarters in Yakima, in the early 1980s and in 1984 became a sales rep and later a product manager for Western RV’s Dreamer fifth-wheel.
Canopy Country is primarily a towable dealership marketing Jayco Inc. products exclusively in Elennsburg and Jayco and Keystone RV Co.’s Sprinter and Hideout towables in Yakima.
He said the local RV market has the potential to be strong. ”In Washington, you don’t have to travel very far to find some fine lake camping and mountain camping,” he said.
Although acknowledging that purchasing Canopy Corners was ”very much so” a risk, Munson said that he senses that the RV industry is about to turn around.
”There are some signs of (an economic) turnaround,” Munson said.
Canopy Country currently has an inventory of about $1.2 million between the two dealerships, and despite national lenders pulling back on wholesale and retail lending over the last year, has had success with local lending.
”(Carroll) had some issues with floorplanning, but was able to obtain financing with a local bank,” Munson said. ”They were more flexible and familiar with the organization. Hopefully as the industry turns around, we can knock on their door and tell them we want to increase our inventory and they will stand with us.”
Carroll’s son Jason Carroll remains sales manager in Ellensburg, and Christine Moore is finance manager for both stores.
Munson said that he knows that the RV industry still has some hurdles to overcome. ”My take on the industry is that there are still some challenges ahead of us, particularly going into the winter,” Munson said. ”I saw through negotiation that there was an opportunity here. With the right people, the right products and a focus on offering parts and service, there is an opportunity for success.”