It’s been 22 years in the making, but All Seasons RV Center in Yuba City, Calif., is in the middle of an eagerly awaited expansion project.
Once completed sometime in mid-November, the dealership owned and operated by the father-son duo of Ernie and Darrel Friesen will have transformed four undeveloped acres of its property into an outdoor showroom for up to 200 RVs, plus added a 90-by-30-foot, glass-walled indoor showroom onto the dealership’s existing 29,000-square-foot facility that currently houses parts and accessories as well as some office space.
Phase I of the project, which included a paved center driveway splitting the complex into two distinct outdoor areas to display RVs fronted by wrought-iron fencing, is already complete. Phase II involves the facility expansion, which is getting a new open-beam roof added any day now, Ernie Friesen told RVBUSINESS.com.
“When we built the existing property 22 years ago, one of the unfortunate things was that all these years, parts and service and office was split from the sales department. The sales department was two miles down the road at the busiest intersection north of Sacramento, Highways 99 and 20,” Friesen explained. “But that’s a Cal-Trans (California Department of Transportation) property, so we were limited with what we could do there. They bought that property years ago for a future right-of-way and nothing has developed on that property since.”
“We were on eight-and-a-half acres and we had just over four acres in the front and it didn’t look very attractive for people driving by. So we finally decided early this year that we were going to develop that property,” he said.
Local government officials have been very supportive of the $2 million project, Friesen said, including immediately granting a request to allow light poles nine feet higher than the maximum 20 feet allowed by code. Likewise, “people in the community have been just as supportive,” he added.
“Sometimes when you’re in business and you do something that people can tell that’s expensive, I was concerned that the customers may say, ‘You’re obviously making too much money.’ But I had not heard one comment like that. In fact, I’ve had a number of people look me up to tell me, ‘Good move. We’ve been waiting for when you would do this,’” Friesen said.
To keep costs down, Friesen is acting as the project’s general manager. While he said he’s learning a lot and is enjoying the challenge of trying to coordinate various contractors’ schedules, he did mention that at 78 years old – and with his wife, Irene, looking on in agreement – he told RVBUSINESS.com that this will be his “last hurrah.”
“As much as I’ve enjoyed what I’m doing right now with this building project, I don’t plan to do one again. Next time – if there is a next time – Darrel can make it happen,” Friesen said.
“I’m excited about it,” he continued. “From the day that we bought the company in 1985, we always had sales separate from parts and service and office. My goal always was, at some point, to have it together in one facility, and we will be there now. We will have that opportunity. I’m looking forward to it. As soon as everything is done, then I’ll probably hang it up and it’ll be Darrel’s responsibility from that point forward.”