Retail dealership chain Holiday RV Superstores Inc., which does business as Recreation USA, reported it lost $2.7 million during the first quarter of its fiscal year 2001, which ended Jan. 31.

The company’s loss during the November-through-January period compares with a loss of $193,000 incurred during the same period a year earlier.

Recreation USA’s sales revenue declined 2% during the three months ended Jan. 31 to $33.2 million.

“It was the single toughest quarter we have faced as a public company,” said Mike Riley, chairman and CEO. “The good news is our business has improved. We have experienced stronger sales and higher margins during the second quarter.”

Lower interest rates and lower retail prices “have motivated buyers to return to our stores,” Riley continued. “Increased sales coupled with expense reduction will drive us to strong profitability in the second quarter.”

“While we remain committed to building a national brand through acquisitions, we must take steps to better integrate our new stores and manage our growth process,” said Marcus Lemonis, who was appointed president of Recreation USA earlier this month.

Lemonis joined Recreation USA after a five-year stint at national car dealership chain AutoNation.