Lakewood, N.J.-based Colonial Airstream, which was recently recognized as the top overall motorhome and Class B dealer in the state by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), is planning a major expansion designed to keep pace with current demand while also accommodating future growth.
“This year, we are already seeing in the first quarter a 20% increase over last year, so that is looking really good,” Jim Lenzo, who co-owns the dealership with his brother John, told RVBUSINESS.com. “The growth has been so strong over the past five or six years we are planning a major expansion and will be moving from this location. We will break ground in the fall on a new 55,000-square-foot facility on 15 acres of property that will allow us to serve our customer base much better on a day-to-day basis.”
Lenzo said the new facility will significantly increase capacity while also providing a higher profile site that will heighten accessibility for customers.
“The new facility will be more centrally located and within four miles of the New Jersey Turnpike,” he shared. “This will give us access to more out-of-state business from the Tri-State area. It will be more accessible, and offer a bigger footprint, bigger interior space for our parts department and more service bays to better serve our customers — an entirely new facility.
“I think it will be good for the RV industry in the state of New Jersey,” he added. “If we are not already considered a destination dealership, I think we will be even more so after this move.”
Colonial Airstream’s growth and commitment to customer service has been well documented over the years. Accolades include ranking as the top Airstream dealer for 11 years, an RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer, a Winnebago Circle of Excellence winner for nine years and Top 10 U.S. dealer for RoadTrek coaches. The company has also been a perennial sales leader in Airstream towables with over 100 “silver bullets” in stock.
But, according to Lenzo, the SSI ranking as the state’s motorhome sales leader represented a first for the dealership.
“To tell you the truth I was surprised that we achieved this. I was elated,” he said, noting that SSI had tracked Colonial as the No. 1 Class B dealer in the past. “It’s a team effort. Everyone worked really hard to make this happen. From the prep crew, to sales, to the parts department, everybody stepped up to the plate in one of our busiest years. I’m so proud of the whole dealership.”
Lenzo explained that in addition to the uptick in sales, a key reason for the expansion is that the New Jersey RV sales environment is highly competitive as the number of dealers dwindled after the economic downturn of 2008.
“It has become survival of the fittest,” he said. “In the heyday there were about 24 good dealers across the state. Now it’s down to 12 or 15. We are very happy here in the central part of the state, and our new facility will be even closer to our markets near the New Jersey Turnpike.”