Ketelsen Campers of Colorado in Wheat Ridge, Colo., was named the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) Top Quality Dealer of the Year on Sept. 24, during the RVDA’s Annual Meeting held in conjunction with its International Convention/Expo in Nashville, Tenn.
RVDA Past Chairman Craig Jensen of Blaine Jensen & Sons, Kaysville, Utah, presented the award to dealership principal Randy Ketelsen.
Ketelsen’s family started in the RV business in 1962 on a family farm in Iowa. In 1985, Randy and his wife, Maureen, moved to Denver to open a branch of his father’s dealership, Johnny Ketelsen RVs.
During 17 years of operation, the dealership has never lost money. Since 1990, the dealership has expanded the service department twice and constructed a new building dedicated to the purpose of customer orientation.
Ketelsen Campers of Colorado has more than 65 full-time employees.
“I am proud of the fact that I have been involved, on a daily basis, in this great industry for 40 years,” Ketelsen said. “In fact, I can’t remember life without RVs. We are very thankful for this award, which is tremendous recognition for all our employees who are dedicated to giving our customers the best service possible.”
The Top Quality Dealer of the Year Award recognizes RV dealerships that, through their professionalism, promote a positive image of RV travel, RV dealers, and the RV industry at large.
Any RVDA member who owns and operates a full service RV dealership is eligible to be nominated. Judging focuses on customer satisfaction, sales, financial status, physical plant, association and community service, and responsiveness to adversity.
A panel of judges who are past recipients of the award selected a national Top Quality Dealer and four regional Top Quality Dealers.
The Regional Top Quality Dealers for 2002 are:
Eastern Region: Campers’ Barn of Kingston, Kingston, NY. In 1974, Ross Johnson founded Campers’ Barn with two employees, including Jim Bracco, who currently is the vice president and general manager. Within six months, Kingston had 10 employees and built a 12,000 square foot facility. Growth continued through the 1980s and by 1989, the dealership built a 30,000-square-foot facility on 9.5 acres of land. Campers’ Barn of Kingston was purchased by Ross Johnson’s son, Wayne Johnson, in 1999. Bracco is a former member of the RVDA Board of Directors and is active in the New York RVDA.
Midwestern Region: PleasureLand RV Centers Inc., with locations in Minnesota and North Dakoka. Founded in 1971 by B. Vern and Bea Pearson, PleasureLand RV Center is a market leader in the Upper Midwest. In 1982, the Pearson’s son, Dan, became PleasureLand’s General Manager and is currently President and CEO. More than 63 staff members are employed at PleasureLand. In 2002, the dealership completed a new 54,000 square foot facility in Fargo, N.D. Pearson is a former RVDA chairman and currently serves as chairman of the RV Assistance Corp., the association’s for-profit subsidiary, and on The RVDA Education Foundation Board.
Southern Region: Reines RV Center Inc., Manassas, Va. Reines RV Center got its start in 1946 as an automobile dealership and began selling RVs in the early 1960s. President Lindsey Reines sold his first trailer at the age of 14 and started working full time at the dealership in 1974. In 1998, Reines RV Center moved into their new 10-acre facility which holds up to14 units indoors and has 16 service bays. In October 2001, the staff of Reines RV Center received a certificate of outstanding assistance from the FBI for their support following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Western Region: Village R.V. Inc., Roseville, Calif. President Bruce Cooper founded Village RV in 1987. The dealership was originally built as a Cadillac dealership in the mid-1960s and was completely refurbished upon acquisition. In 1998, Cooper acquired an additional 4.2 acres and built a new 10,000 square foot service building with a conference room, training room, offices, and work-out room. The dealership has been profitable for 13 years and has made $2 million worth of capital improvements in the last 24 months. Cooper currently serves on the RVDA Board of Delegates and on the CalRVDA Board of Directors.