Michigan-based General RV officially marked the rollout of its new supercenter in Ocala, Fla., with a grand opening event Wednesday (March 20) that served as an opportunity “to thank all the people that helped us with this project,” related General RV President Loren Baidas.
“We’ve actually been open and selling RVs since December,” Baidas told RVBUSINESS.com, noting the agenda for the grand opening included speeches by dealership management, tours of the facility along with refreshments and a catered lunch. “This was essentially an official event to let us look around and appreciate what we’ve accomplished.
“We invited all our partners that were involved in putting this together, including city officials, our construction people, area residents and all our employees,” he added. “There were also representatives from our industry partners.”
Physically, the dealership is the largest in General RV’s chain, which has grown to 13 sites including six new locations in the past five years. Its national presence now covers six states with dealerships in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Utah and Virginia, along with three stores in Florida, a growing market that is considered a hotbed for the RV lifestyle.
The new 90,000-square-foot dealership anchoring a half-mile of frontage on I-75 near Florida 484, houses 40 service bays, 20,000 square feet of retail space with 600 RVs in stock, a paint facility and a comfortable customer lounge. Bias noted that the 60-acre site also offers “plenty of room for expansion.”
“It’s truly a remarkable piece of property,” Baidas offered, adding, “We definitely had an idea of where wanted to be. When we start looking for available properties, our priorities are traffic patterns, visibility and ease of getting to the facility. We always want a freeway presence and Ocala filled all those requirements. It also provides synergy for our other Florida stores in Jacksonville and Tampa, which was important.”
Baidas related that the local RVing community has been “overwhelmingly receptive” to the new store.
“Since we opened our doors in December the traffic has been great,” he said. “Customer sentiments and interest in the dealership have been over the top. We’ve had so many comments from customers saying that they appreciate us being here and being able to deal with a company they know will take care of them. They’ve been waiting for this.”