The blueprint for expansion, devised years ago by the principals at Florida-based Giant Recreation World, centered on a well-worn axiom in the real estate community. Location topped the search list as the company looked to increase its footprint, and ultimately sales volume, by being more visibile to consumers.
“For around 10 years, our vision has been to find property that was affordable and offered interstate frontage,” President and CEO Larry McNamara told RVBUSINESS.com. “We have two stores that are landlocked, and it was extremely difficult to get people off the interstate. We spent a ton of money in mainstream advertising, but the simple fact is that if they can’t see you, they probably won’t stop. The other priority was to find land that was in close proximity to our existing stores to cut down on moving costs.”
The dealership, founded in 1976, put plans in motion last July, beginning construction on a 14-acre plot in the growing Destination Daytona complex that will house operations currently in nearby Ormond Beach. “It’s an unbelievable complex created by Bruce Rossmeyer, one of biggest Harley Davidson dealers in the country,” McNamara related. “It’s a massive facility with stores, hotels, restaurants and also includes a truck stop. We couldn’t have asked for a better location.”
Last Friday (Jan. 8), Giant Recreation World broke ground on a 25-acre property in Palm Bay that will become the new site for the company’s Melbourne outlet. The dealership will continue operations at its original store in Winter Garden, which also serves as corporate headquarters.
“Right now we’re looking at opening the Daytona store in March and then Palm Bay in September or October,” McNamara said. “We’ll also be hiring, growing from around 105 employees now to 150 in the next few years. After we get settled in and things are running smoothly, the next phase will be adding more locations.”
The Daytona site will include a 28,000-square-foot facility with 12 service bays. “It’s really going to be a huge change from Ormond Beach,” McNamara said. “We were on five acres that included a pond, and we just outgrew the facility.”
Giant Recreation World has planned a 35,000-square-foot sales and service building in Palm Bay that will include 18 bays with a paint booth and a lift. “We wanted to increase the service end of the business,” McNamara said. “The showroom will be designed to fit five units versus 20 that we had in Melbourne. It not only gave us more room for service, but it also means that more RVs are going to be on the lot where people can see them when they drive by.
“We’ve had several good years and the timing is right to expand our business model,” he added. “We’re ready to go to the next level.”