Mesa, Ariz., dealers Beaudry RV and Earnhardt RV compete against each other in a variety of ways by virtue of the fact they are located across the street from each other.
But local zoning code officials recently intervened, resulting in Earnhardt removing its symbolic “No Bull” statue and Beaudry removing a 31-foot, American flag-drapped RV from atop an 8-foot-high platform in front of its sales lot, according to The Arizona Republic newspaper.
Beaudry removed the flag-drapped RV from the platform in April after being told by a Mesa code compliance officer the department received a complaint that the display violated the local sign code, the Republic reported.
City officials would not reveal who called to complain, although Beaudry officials assume it was someone from Earnhardt, according to the newspaper.
Code compliance department officials agreed such complaints often come from competitors, the Republic reported.
“We’re obviously competing for the same RV dollar,” said Michael Murphy, corporate legal counsel for Tucson-based Beaudry. “It (the RV) is up in the air, it’s got a price tag on it. We’re trying to sell the damn thing,” Murphy said, according to the newspaper.
Then, a few weeks later, Earnhardt received a letter from the Code Compliance Office stating that the dealership had a week to get a permit for its well-known bull statue, or to remove it.
Earnhardt decided to remove it.
Bill Furano, the Earnhardt general manager, said the company has a good relationship with Mesa officials and the dealership wants to keep it that way. He declined further comment to the Republic.
The dueling displays were an example of “dealer see, dealer do,” said Mesa Code Compliance Director Bill Petrie. “Earnhardt’s saw that Beaudry was doing it and felt if Beaudry were doing it, then they could do it also.”