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In a little less than 10 years, Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales has grown from a small campground to a growing retail and resort business that stretches across 57 acres west of New Castle, Ind.
According to the Muncie Star Press, a showroom flanked by a sales lot filled with RVs coexists with expanded campground facilities featuring 165 sites, a basketball court, playground, swimming pool, 18-hole miniature golf course, game room and a central meeting center.
“If you can think of it, we’ve got it,” said Gary Hart, who owns the company with his two sons, Nathan and Justin.
While Hart has been forward thinking with regard to his business, he also is committed to maintaining an old-fashioned approach to his clientele and employees.
“We want to give customers much more. We want to give employees more,” he said.
Case in point: the human resources manager at Walnut Ridge is also a full-time counselor. If employees are having a problem at work or at home, they turn to David Fairley, who Hart said acts as “everybody’s buddy.”
“It’s about caring for people,” Hart said. “It’s also the responsibility of any company to do what we used to do. We want to have the heart to help our customers.”
Hart said taking care of employees, and helping them enjoy their jobs, will help the bottom line and make the business succeed.
Hart is also a proponent of service after the sale. The retailer provides instructional classes and free nights at the campground so customers can learn how to drive and hook up their new units.
“Service is something that people want,” Hart said.
He’s no fan of big box retailers and mega stores, mostly because he said those businesses don’t reinvest in the community.
“Companies used to put stock back into the communities. I think we ought to have companies that care about the community and care about their employees,” Hart said.