Businesses in Decatur, Ind., are receiving a much-needed economic boost thanks to hundreds of RV enthusiasts.
Hundreds of RV owners have returned to the birthplace of their home on wheels, Fleetwood RV in Decatur, according to the Indiana News Center, Fort Wayne.
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Rally organizers say the annual gathering is more important this year, because of Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s economic troubles.
Hundreds of Fleetwood employees have recently had their hours cut, or lost their job when Fleetwood filed for bankruptcy in March.
The gathering is a good opportunity for Fleetwood officials to show the latest RV accessories, in hopes of making additional sales.
Coach owners say they want to give back to the struggling town that made their rolling home.
“This is our third trip down here and so we got to spend a lot of time getting to know the community and just showing them that we are actually coming back home,” rally organizer Marcia Bratsburg said.
Fleetwood officials say despite a 50% loss in sales, inventory is coming into line and the desire to buy an RV is still there, the trick is finding a bank that will lend the money.
“Customers are still using RVs,” said Fleetwood Director of Sales Justin Humphreys. “They still want to see the country. And at times we kinda get upset because there’s not a lot of business out there but I think it’s a great sign for business. The customers are out there using them. They want to go out and use their motor home and eventually they’re going to want a new one and that’s what we’re really excited about, is to build some new ones for them.”
But they will have to make RVs under a new owner. A U.S. bankruptcy court gave Fleetwood officials the green light to sell their motorhome assets.
American Industrial Partners will pay $53 million for assets including several facilities and service centers.