Shannon Nill’s vision of a “true RV destination” is close to fulfillment as Guaranty RV Sales moves into the final stages of a $7 million expansion project that will effectively beef up service operations while adding a 55-site, eight-acre RV park on the dealer’s sprawling Junction City, Ore., campus.
“The RV park will build on to the destination concept that was started when we launched our RV Travel Center in the latter part of 2014. It offers everything from RV rentals and concierge services to a 3,000-square-foot convenience store, laundromat and even an on-site dog groomer,” Nill told RVBUSINESS.com, noting that the completion date for the park had been moved to May 1 due to the area’s wettest winter in 20 years. “The RV park will just take that full-service concept a step further, creating what we like to call a ‘rejuvenation station.’”
Offering full hookups and pull-through capability on 90% of the RV park’s sites, Nill is envisioning a multi-use facility that will be “split about 50-50” between customers needing service and those seeking a relaxing destination camping site.
“The idea is to offer a comfortable setting for customers having service performed, but we are also expecting that people will stay at the park who want to have a central point to travel to the area’s attractions, like our local wineries and college sporting events,” he said, reporting that the cost for the park would come in at around $2 million. “We also want to be a home for RV groups and rallies. There will be an outdoor clubhouse pavilion where they can hold meetings and we can feed up to 60 people, along with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi, a dump station and several other amenities.”
He added, “Of course we’ll be happy to accommodate anybody that wants to walk over to our dealership and look at a new motorhome.”
Nill pointed to Winnebago Industries Inc.’s decision in December 2015 to launch a facility for diesel motorhome production in Junction City as an additional catalyst for building the park.
“A lot of the people that are coming here for Winnebago factory service will be staying at the park,” Nill said. “We will also be hosting the WIT (Winnebago International Travelers) rally, which will bring a lot of people to Junction City. There’s no doubt that Winnebago coming to town has been great for this area.”
While the RV park may stand as the most prominent piece in the expansion, Guaranty RV will also be extending its longtime focus on service with two new facilities – representing another $5 million investment – that will house operations for the dealership’s RV business while also expanding repair capacity on the auto side.
“The service part of the expansion is going to serve a dual purpose,” Nill said. “Last September we completed construction of a new 22,500-square-foot, nine-bay RV body shop. We temporarily moved our auto service operations into that building, as we’re currently in the construction process of an all-new auto service center that will include 18 bays.”
“We have a full paint shop now, but we simply outgrew the facility with all the larger coaches,” Nill said. “The new facility will have two mixing booths and two limited spray booths, along with state-of-the-art ventilation including a downdraft system.
“Body repair is actually becoming a big part of our service operation. Everybody needs that type of service at some point and we can also work on our own trade-ins.”
Nill noted that the RV paint and body shop is in addition to two existing service facilities. “We have a 20-bay building and then another 12-bay facility that we acquired from Camping World. There are also nine other single structures that we use for minor repairs,” he said. “Guaranty RV has a long history of providing top quality service. It’s always been a key part of our operations and is becoming even more important as the industry grows.”
Nill anticipates that growth will continue as the industry saw a landmark performance in 2016, including a 40-year high in shipments.
“I think the industry is poised for a pretty good run,” he said. “For us, 2015 was a little better than last year, probably because of the election year drama which caused some people to wait on sidelines. But the economy is still moving forward and we’re seeing a lot of new people coming into the RV lifestyle.
“I think we’re looking at several more years of growth and our main job is to make sure we are taking care of our customers – both the veteran RVers who have been with us for years and those people who are just entering the lifestyle.”