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Beaudry RV already has the tallest sign in Arizona but is now building one of the nation’s largest RV dealer stores on the grounds of the Gila River Indian Reservation in Chandler, Ariz.
Ground was broken in the spring at the 100-acre site located just off Interstate 10 where a 100-foot sign was erected to promote the new store. Phase 1 of the multi-phase project will include 140,000 square feet under roof. The centerpiece for this phase, according to Mike Murphy, general counsel for the company, is an outdoor “model walk” area that will comprise 5-6 acres.
“In the model walk there is a lush environment with waterfalls, rivers and contoured pathways leading to five pods that hold manufacturers’ products,” he said. Each pod will feature a separate product line – Monaco Coach, Country Coach, American Coach and National RV at the outset and a fifth company yet to be determined, he said. Each pod will contain a manufacturer’s hub that will feature tables and chairs, refreshments and computer access linking the shopper to the manufacturer’s website.
Phase 1 also will contain a 54,000-sqaure-foot service facility holding 40 service bays, parts and service administration offices. Subsequent phases will include an additional 120 service bays covering 140,000 square feet. An outdoor amphitheater for special events and a 15,000-square-foot indoor special events center also are planned. An RV park on the site is being considered.
Phase 1 will be up and running by late spring 2007, he said. No timetable has been set for completion of subsequent phases.
The new store will employ close to 350 employees once complete.
Barry R. Barcus is the architect for the entire project. MLA & Associates designed the model walk. M.A. Carlson Construction Co. Inc. is the general contractor.
The project has been in the planning stages for three years, Murphy said, and was undertaken because Beaudry RV had outgrown its site in nearby Mesa. That store will likely be closed after the new store in Chandler is open, he said.
“We spent a significant amount of time looking for the right place to go. This location provides the most benefit to the RV travelers coming through on I-10. Every single person heading into Phoenix from the east on I-10 will pass by us. It will be a fantastic, unobstructed view of our facility,” he said.
“We have developed a great business relationship with the Gila River Indian Community,” said Murphy, noting that Beaudry RV will lease the land on which the new store is going in. The RV dealership will realize certain tax benefits from locating on the reservation, he said.
The new store also is going in near major tourist destinations – the Firebird International Speedway and several Indian casinos – each of which is less than a mile from the new site.
A temporary sales facility has been set up on site and approximately half the inventory from the Mesa store has been moved there, Murphy said. “We’re moving things around to accommodate construction.” As of mid-September, blacktopping some parking areas had begun. “Nothing has come out of the ground yet but the sign,” he said.
Founded in 1972, Beaudry RV has locations in Tucson, Mesa, Phoenix and San Diego, as well as a Beaudry RV Resort & Rally Park and Beer Bottoms Bistro, both in Tucson, and Beaudry Motor Co. in Tucson and Benson.