National aftermarket accessories retailer Camping World is celebrating today (June 10) the grand opening of its Elkhart, Ind., store at Hart City RV, a member of the FreedomRoads LLC national dealership alliance.
“Camping World is known nationwide, so to not have one in the RV capital of the world was a travesty,” according to Bruce Kinsey, Hart City’s general sales manager, who spoke with the South Bend Tribune.
Kinsey said Camping World would bring more business into Hart City because of its reputation and popularity.
“We’re tickled pink that they’ll be next to us,” he said.
Camping World is a unit of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), as is TL Enterprises Inc., publisher of RV Business and RVBUSINESS.com. AGI Chairman Steve Adams also is founder and chairman of FreedomRoads.
As part of its Gold Medal RV Dealer Program, Camping World will rent the 16,000-square-foot space from Hart City and the two stores will share a single facility.
Through Gold Medal, Camping World opens new locations at existing RV dealerships to provide “one-stop shopping RV outlets,” according to a Camping World statement.
Like all dealerships chosen to participate, Hart City was selected because of its high sales volume and strong local reputation, said Ann Thornton, marketing manager for Camping World.
“Hart City is a well-established, well-developed RV dealer,” she said. “That’s the kind of business that we want to work with.”
For Camping World, opening a location in Elkhart made good business sense and was long overdue, Thornton added.
“We’re thrilled to be in Elkhart because it’s the home of RV manufacturing. We’ve been working on this for a year.”
The company has close business ties with several area manufacturers that supply many of its retail products.
Bowling Green, Ky.-based Camping World sells about 8,000 camping and RV-related products from 4,000 suppliers, ranging from bikes, tents and grills to RV interior furnishings and RV water and sanitation systems.
The store has been in operation since April 26, but it was decided to postpone the grand opening until today. Elkhart Mayor David Miller hosted a ribbon-cutting for the occasion.
Camping World has 33 retail locations in 21 states across the country and an extensive mail-order system with more than 10 million catalogs and fliers distributed nationwide. The Camping World stores closest to Elkhart are in Clarksville, Ind., Bolingbrook, Ill., and Belleville, Mich.