A recreational vehicle or a motorhome isn’t usually an impulse buy, but anyone making a spur-of-the-moment decision will certainly be aware that Giant RV’s new headquarters is open for business just east of Montclair Plaza on Interstate-10, according to the San Bernardino County Sun.
The two-building facility, the largest of Giant RV’s six throughout Southern California, is the culmination of 18 months of work and another couple years of planning before that. Owner Bob Barouti, who opened his first store in Upland 18 years ago, purchased the property in 2000.
“Ultimately, we figured this would be the ideal location for us,” he told the newspaper.
The Montclair location became necessary when Giant RV outgrew its Upland headquarters, the company’s first store which had already been expanded once before. “We worked with the city of Upland for 18 years,” he said. “The officials of the city – the city manager, the police department, the City Council – all of them were wonderful to Giant RV. And city officials in Montclair already have been so generous to us.”
Rob Clark, Montclair’s community development director, said it didn’t take any special treatment to get him to come to Montclair. “There were no issues with them,” Clark said. “They wanted to be here and they wanted to be on the freeway. We had a couple of redesigns with regard to their sign, but no real problems of any kind.”
Clark said Giant RV will be a strong contributor to the city’s sales-tax coffers, similar to an auto dealership. “They will actually do as well or better than an auto dealer,” he said. “They may not sell as many units, but with the higher prices, it will balance out.”
Units on the lot range from a low of about $15,000 to the $400,000 level and include Fleetwood, National RV, Monaco, Weekend Warrior, Skyline, Thor, Carriage and Cedar Creek brands. “We sell Winnebago products, too, but not at this location,” Barouti said.
The company is the largest RV and motorhome seller in California, according to the newspaper, and is the No. 1 dealer in the country for several of the brand names it handles. Locations in Colton, Corona and Palm Desert plus two in Travel Land in Irvine make six, and Barouti is planning to open yet another dealership next spring in Murrieta.
Giant has been selling and servicing RVs in Montclair now for about two months, although the official grand opening won’t happen until just after the first of the year. “We want to make sure our staff is acclimated and everything is running smoothly,” said Mellanie Ingle, director of marketing. “The last thing we want is to get 20 million customers in here and not know what we’re doing.”
For now, the offices are still getting touched up. Two buildings take up 45,000 square feet on an 8.5-acre lot at Giant, which employs close to 335 people, with nearly 100 of them in Montclair.
“We’ve been busy here from Day One,” Ingle said.