San Diego, Calif.-based La Mesa RV Center plans to open its first dealership on the East Coast, outside of Tampa, Fla., according to a report in the Tampa Tribune.
The move by La Mesa, which operates 12 dealerships in the Southwest, will place the company in direct competition with Lazydays RV Supercenter, based in nearby Seffner.
According to the Tribune, La Mesa plans to buy the Conley RV Inc. sales site on U.S. 301 just south of the Florida State Fairgrounds. La Mesa officials said they hoped to have their Tampa sales center open by late December.
The company is targeting the Tampa Bay area because it’s a potentially lucrative market, said Stephen Condon, La Mesa’s marketing director. Condon noted that a large number of people winter in the Tampa Bay area and significant recreational vehicle traffic passes through the region.
Although the company chiefly sells Winnebago RVs, it does not hold exclusive rights to sell them in Florida. As a result, La Mesa plans to initially focus on selling used RVs in the $40,000 to $120,000 range at the Tampa location, Condon said.
“We want to be the largest dealer in the country, so we need to be in the Florida market,” he said.
La Mesa sold about 6,000 RVs last year and had annual sales of $700 million, he said.
Stewart Schaffer, chief marketing officer for Lazydays, said the dealership is not concerned about competition from La Mesa.
“Our business model will not change,” Schaffer said. “Good competition raises sales for everybody.”