Construction has started on a long-planned Bodily RV dealership southwest of the Meridian Road interchange with I-84 between Boise and Caldwell, Idaho, according to the Idaho Business Review.
The company will move its Meridian dealership from a South Main Street site, just north of the interchange, by early next year, owner Gary Bodily said.
At more than 42,000 square feet, the two-story steel building under construction at the northeast corner of Linder and Overland roads will be about three times the size of Bodily RV’s current facilities. The new building will feature a 10-bay service shop, a large showroom, and storefront glass.
Bodily, who owns the business with his wife, Deborah, acquired the 14.5-acre site nearly four years ago. Bodily put together a financing package this year for the project, and recently obtained a building permit.
“We don’t have space to take care of business,” he said. “In the Meridian location especially, we could sell a lot more travel trailers if we had them … now we have to give up some motorhome and travel-trailer sales.”
The new building also will enable Bodily RV to enlarge its vehicle service operations, Bodily added.
He plans to offer more than 300 RVs at the new site, compared to about 125 on the Main Street site of 3.2 acres.
No cost estimate was released for the construction project, which was designed by Insights Architects and is being built by Primary Construction, both Boise firms. Home Federal Savings & Loan is providing financing.
The planned new facility exemplifies an emerging trend in the RV industry – a large, freeway-adjacent dealership with a modern showroom and shop, Bodily said.
Bodily RV also sells midpriced RVs from locations in Caldwell and Garden City.
The company is leasing the Caldwell site through May 2004, and the Garden City site on a short-term basis.
It leases the building on Main in Meridian from the owners of the Zamzow’s Lawn and Garden chain, which is based in Nampa.
Bodily said he hadn’t decided what he would do with the Caldwell and Garden City operations long term,. “We’ll just see how we go.”
Fifty-three people work for the company, including about 30 in Meridian. Staff would be added as demand warrants, the owner said.
Volume was strong until 1999, then dropped, Bodily said. But last year sales exceeded $21 million and are expected to reach $25 million this year, he said.
“In the last couple of years, the motorhome business has softened up. It’s starting to come back now,” he said. Lower-priced travel trailers are selling strongly, though the business has insufficient space for them at its current site in Meridian.
Bodily partnered with auto dealers Tom and Dick Scott in Tom Scott RV in September 1996. He acquired the Caldwell location in May 1998, then bought out the Scotts in Meridian in September 1998. He opened the Garden City dealership last July.