Dan Gamel’s RV Centers, a multi-location central and northern California dealership company, will expand in Fresno by moving into a former Kmart store, according to the Fresno Bee.
The 203,000-square-foot former Kmart building encloses five acres under roof and is capable of holding 500 RVs, or about $30 million worth of inventory, the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, Gamel’s current location along Freeway 99 in Fresno will be converted into an RV storage facility, where, for $100 a month, RV owners will be able to store their rigs under cover. At the storage facility, Gamel’s employees also will wash customers’ RVs, fill them with fuel and “perform other necessary tasks before and after the owner takes it on a trip,” said Dan Gamel, owner of the dealership.
Gamel will invest $12 million to transform the former Kmart into a “Camp America” accessories store to go along with RV sales at the new location. Posts inside the building will be make to look like trees, the ceiling will be painted sky blue and recorded sounds of crickets and frogs will be heard throughout the store, the newspaper reported.
But more importantly, Camp America customers will be able to buy everything from a 99-cent fishing lure to a $499,000 motorhome, said Gamel, who estimates that the typical RV buyer also spends $1,200 to $1,500 on accessories.
The other locations for Gamel’s RV, an exclusive Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. RV dealer, are in Dublin, Modesto, Morgan Hill, Redding and Rocklin, Calif.
The company, which sells 450 to 500 RV units per month, also plans to open two seasonal dealership locations in Arizona, the newspaper reported.
Gamel’s RV reached $200 million in sales revenue in 2002 and, as of the end of August, its 2003 sales were only $2.5 million below the 2002 total, said Wayne Barnes, president of Dan Gamel Inc., parent of the dealership.