Partner Rob Merrill addresses attendees at the ROUTE 66 rally

The ROUTE 66 RV Network recently assembled  for its 14th annual rally, held Oct. 2-4 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo. According to a press release, over 200 dealer principals, dealership employees, network partners and staff attended the three-day event.

The event opened on Monday with a golf tournament that drew a field of 60-plus dealers and partners. That evening, attendees gathered for the traditional welcome reception which included all dealership, partner and network employees. 

An opening session highlighted the second day of the rally, focusing on the results of a recent SWOT analysis done by the network’s 12 dealer advisory board members. In addition, a new network-wide data initiative was introduced called Main Street built by the group’s own software development company, RIDE Marketing. The platform provides a technology business center that will deliver exclusive sales support tools to member dealers, as well as proprietary network business intelligence.

Throughout the day, dealers and their employees rotated through five different 50-minute workshops that focused on the Main Street initiative, web marketing, menu selling, boosting Internet sales and relationship-building time in the Partner Expo.

ROUTE 66 rally attendees check out new product

“While it’s kind of like getting a drink out of a fire hydrant, the workshops were set up to provide continuity from one workshop to the next delivering an overall message of the value of the network in our consolidating industry,” said Dave Francis, ROUTE 66 partner.             

On the final morning, attendees heard from Assurant Solutions, Bank of America and NTP-STAG executives, as well as the ROUTE 66 partners who responded to dealer submitted questions in their annual Q&A session. 

The 2017-2018 advisory board members were also introduced, which include:

  • Kim Kroubetz – Kroubetz Lakeside Campers, Minn.
  • Joey Shields – Pan Pacific RV Center, Calif.
  • Devin Murphy – Freedom RV, Arizona
  • Jonathan Creech – Rex & Sons RV’s, N.C.
  • Dan Craffey – Lee’s Family Trailer, Maine     
  • Ken Wise – All Seasons RV & Marine, Ore.         
  • JB Strassweg – Basden’s American RV Center, Ind.     
  • John McCluskey – Florida Outdoors RV Center, Fla.    
  • Bill Clark – The Great Outdoors, N.Y.
  • Ken Bunge – Humphrey RV, Colo.
  • Andy Whiting – Outdoor Travel, Ontario  
  • Darren Gelowitz – Village R.V. Saskatchewan       

ROUTE 66 also announced that Jeff Fisher and his staff at B&R Camper Sales in Theodore, Ala., were named this year’s winner of Larry Coker Commitment Award. The award, named after a former ROUTE 66 board member/employee who died unexpectedly in 2009, is given to the network dealer that best reflects Coker’s commitment to the ROUTE 66 brand.

“Jeff Fisher, while having only been a ROUTE 66 dealer since 2011, has been a huge champion for The Network,” ROUTE 66 Partner Rob Merrill said. “Not only has he and his employees immersed their dealership in supporting the ROUTE 66 brand and programs, but he was also an active and insightful participant on the outgoing Advisory Board.”