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Michigan multilocation dealership General RV Inc. has opened a 60,000-square-foot superstore in Wayland, Mich., on U.S. 131 south of Grand Rapids, and has announced plans to open its sixth store in Birch Run, Mich., by next spring.
With the closure of a smaller facility in suburban Grand Rapids, General RV now operates five dealerships, with the other four in the Detroit metro area communities of Brownstown, Mount. Clemens, Novi/Wixom and Waterford.
Construction on the Birch Run facility began this month.
“Grand Rapids (Wayland) is now our largest dealership,” said co-owner Robert Baidis. “We just didn’t have enough space where we were to grow. We moved to get more room, and we wanted to be on the expressway.”
The new superstore in Wayland opened April 1 on 20 acres on U.S. 131, about 10 miles south of Grand Rapids. General RVs previous Grand Rapids store was about one-sixth the size of the new facility.
General RV had the grand opening for its Wayland location April 29-May 1, with local officials and RV industry representatives attending the event.
The Wayland dealership, which stocks around $10 million in inventory, features a 15,000-square-foot showroom, 20 service bays and a 10,000-square-foot, second-floor mezzanine with offices and conference rooms. The number of Grand Rapids-area employees has doubled to about 50, with the sales staff increasing from five to 14, Baidis said.
Baidis said General RV expects to double sales in the Grand Rapids market this year with the new store. Among the five stores, General RV anticipates $200 million in sales for 2004, up from $170 million last year, Baidis said.
“We should get to that number unless something drastic happens to the economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Birch Run store planned to open next year will be between Flint and Saginaw, Mich. It will feature 30,000 square feet under one roof on 15 acres along I-75, Baidis said.