> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

After the retirement of Richard and Idella Droen, the previous owners of Imperial Camper Sales in Hastings, Minn., two employees decided they couldn’t let the 44-year-old motorized and towables dealership go out of business.

So Matt Erickson and Jimmy Smith became business partners and bought the dealership. They’ve since renovated the office and expanded the services they provide and, according to a report by the South Washington County Bulletin, are planning a “grand opening celebration” Saturday (June 6).

“I basically want to invite everybody back and give Imperial Camper a new shot,” said Erickson.

Imperial Camper long has had a visible location along Highway 61 in Newport, but Erickson and Smith want to reintroduce people to the decades-old business.

They sell motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers and luxury ice-fishing trailers. They service campers, and they are broadening the operation: They are beginning to offer truck accessories.

“Everybody drives these big trucks, so we can accessorize them,” Erickson said.

Smith said they are also exploring trailer and motorhome rental.

The company employs 21 people during busy summer months and about 16 people the rest of the year.

“It’s been a very stellar year so far,” Erickson said, adding that banks are helping with good lending rates. “They’re getting everybody out there to buy again.”

Read the full report here.