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After more than four decades of being headquartered in the community that is the RV center’s namesake, customers and employees alike are adapting to the new Burlington RV Superstore along I-94 in Yorkville, Wis., which opened Jan 3.
According to the Burlington Standard Press, a market study convinced Tim Wegge, president of Burlington RV Superstore, to make the move after a storied history in the Burlington community. According to Wegge, that study indicated the company could double its business within a period of just four or five years by locating next to the interstate system.
While Wegge had been scoping out property along the I-94 corridor for around six years, he said property in the area was either unfit for building or too cost-prohibitive to purchase. Ironically, it was shortly after Wegge resigned to keep the company in Burlington – even investing tens of thousands of dollars on upgrading the property – that the site of the new RV center became available.
Even though the new 13-acre site is about four acres smaller than the Burlington location, the 60,000 square-foot building which houses the company’s showroom, service center and supply store is significantly larger and more efficient.
Looking to borrow the best ideas from other retailers, Wegge toured RV centers around the country before building the new location. While many of the ideas gleaned during that tour are incorporated into the new store, Wegge points to several original concepts that make it one of the most unique RV dealers in the nation.
Among them is the Open Road Café, where customers waiting for their RV to get serviced will be able to drink espresso and other coffees. One corner of the store is also dedicated to a children’s play area that includes an RV equipped with slides.
A waiting area in the new store combines the rustic feel of a northwoods cabin with high-tech amenities like a large-screen plasma television and several computer terminals linked to the Internet.
The store also houses a library, complete with books and DVDs showing customers not only where they can go with their RV, but also how to keep it maintained.
Looking back fondly on the decades spent in Burlington, Wegge noted that even with a location slightly off the beaten path, Burlington RV was able to grow to include a customer base of around 30,000 people. The one thing the interstate location will allow the company to do, Wegge noted, is become a regional draw for RV enthusiasts from around the country.
It will also give the company plenty in the way of free advertising, with the sign and store being highly visible from I-94. “We have that rolling billboard – that advertising going by all the time,” he said.
Wegge said the former location in Burlington will remain open with a staff of around five that will continue to sell the company’s Jayco line of folding camping trailers.
The operation also will continue to retrofit units for handicap accessibility, as well as be the location for the company’s rental units. Wegge said the plan is to eventually grow the Burlington location back to what it was, in size and scope, before the move.