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Ace Fogdall RV Inc., a 42-year-old RV dealership in Cedar Falls, Iowa, moved earlier this month into a new 44,000-square-foot dealership with a large indoor showroom and more than twice the number of service bays.
“We are moving more and more into light chassis work and expanding our overall service – things that are lacking in our geographic area,” said President Jim Fogdall, son of founders Ace and Florence Fogdall.
The dealership hired seven new people, to expand its work force to a total of 28, to accommodate the $3 million expansion.
The new facility, on 25 acres in a light industrial area on U.S. 20, a limited-access highway on Cedar Falls’ south side, replaced a 12,000-foot store that opened in 1973 about 4-1/2 miles to the north.
The new store’s “prairie-style” design features subdued colors, a low-pitch roof and a 6-foot surrounding overhang. Inside are a 10,000-square-foot showroom and 17,000-square-foot service center with 22 service bays. The building also features roofed canopies at each end, where coaches waiting for delivery or service can be parked.
“I wanted a nice building anyway, but the city didn’t want a run-of-the-mill facility,” said Fogdall, chairman of the national Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) in 1996-97. “They had some pretty stringent demands because this is only one of two south entries into Cedar Falls. They increased the landscaping requirements on me by twice as much as they typically would.”
Somewhat unusual is large sign on the side of the building advertising the company’s Internet website – www.fogdall.com. “We get a lot of business off our Internet site,” Fogdall said.
Fogdall opened the new store June 7, and began a soft opening for the community and local customers on Thursday (June 17). It will continue through June 30. The official grand opening will occur sometime in July, Fogdall said.
While reserving a portion of the dealership site’s unused land for future expansion, Fogdall intends to see the balance developed into hotels, restaurants, convenience stores and other travel-related businesses. “We’ll have between 14 and 20 acres for ourselves,” he said. “And the other stuff will be awhile coming. It’s longer term.”
Ace Fogdall sells Forest River, Thor Industries, R-Vision and Heartland towable brands and Winnebago, Forest River and R-Vision motorhomes.