RVBusiness Top 50 Dealers Recognized in Vegas

With a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 people in attendance, the RV industry recognized its best dealerships Wednesday (Nov. 4) night during the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards presentation.

The ceremony highlighted the third day of events taking place this week during the International 2015 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip, which is co-hosted by the U.S. Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada.

After acknowledging the program’s sponsors — Ally Financial Inc., Cummins Power Generation, Dicor Corp., Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) — RVBusiness Publisher Sherman Goldenberg, a partner with Beverly Gardner, vice president of sales, in Elkhart-based G&G Media Group LLC, said the Top 50 Dealer Awards seems to play a genuine role in a post recessionary era and the need for raising the level of professionalism among RV retailers and recognizing those dealers who do so.

During his brief closing remarks, Goldenberg added that RVB would continue a practice started at last year’s RVB Top 50 Awards event, presenting a donation to the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Care Camps at the KOA convention later this month.

As part of the program, which was first launched in 2008 by RVBusiness magazine and marketing communications agency BJ Thompson Associates, North American RV manufacturers nominated eligible dealers to be considered for the awards. Nominated dealers were invited to submit a questionnaire, and an independent panel of experts then selected the Top 50 recipients from about 300 completed applications.

The 2015 class of Top 50 dealers included a slate of five exemplary Blue Ribbon honorees, and two special awards also were handed out during the ceremony.

Among this year’s Blue Ribbon dealers (in alphabetical order):

  • Greeneway RV Sales & Service, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
  • Guaranty RV Super Centers, Junction City, Ore.
  • Tennessee RV Supercenter, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Veurinks’ RV Center, Grand Rapids Mich.
  • Woody’s RV World, Calgary, Alberta

Scott Kunz, and Jane, Greg and Jake Groves (R) of Universal Marine & RV for Decio Humanitarian Award

Two dealerships received special recognition this year with awards named in honor of two industry legends: Universal Marine & RV, Rochester, Minn., which received the Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Ally Financial Inc.; and Mount Comfort RV, Greenfield, Ind., recipient of the Gaylord Maxwell Innovation Award, sponsored by Lippert Components Inc. (LCI).

Bill Thompson and Tammy Linkfield of Ally Financial presented the Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award — named after the iconic philanthropist and Skyline Corp. founder — to Universal Marine & RV, Rochester, Minn., including owners Greg and Jane Groves and General Manager Scott Kunz. The dealer hosts an annual event that recognizes local police, fire and emergency personnel.

Ken Eckstein with son Rusty in the background for Gaylord Maxwell Innovation Award.

“It’s great to get the spotlight and have this opportunity here, but the true spotlight is on the people in our community, and in yours, who are the police, firefighters and first responders — the heroes out there,” said Kunz.

Steve Paul of LCI presented Ken Eckstein and his son, Rusty, of Mount Comfort RV with the Gaylord Maxwell Innovation Award, an honor named for the late RV consumer advocate, teacher and columnist that goes to a 2015 retailer exhibiting out-of-the-box business creativity. Mount Comfort was noted for its extraordinary efforts on the Internet and in social media, including more than 350 RV videos on YouTube.

“I feel it’s ironic that we’re being given an award for innovation when I consider myself old school, but we address the new technology with all the energy and resources that we have,” said Ken Eckstein.

The rest of the 2015 Top 50 Dealers class (in alphabetical order) included:

  • Affinity RV Service, Sales & Rentals, Prescott, Ariz.
  • Alliance Coach RV Sales and Service, Wildwood, Fla.
  • Alpin Haus, Amsterdam, N.Y.
  • American RV Sales & Service, Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • ArrKann Trailer & RV Centre, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Big Country RV, Bend, Ore.
  • Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall, N.C.
  • Blue Dog RV, Post Falls, Idaho
  • Bucars RV Centre, Balzac, Alberta
  • Bullyan RV, Duluth, Minn.
  • Camperland of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Okla.
  • Campers Inn RV, Kingston, N.H.
  • Carolina Coach & Marine, Claremont, N.C.
  • Coachlight RV Sales, Carthage, Mo.
  • Coates RV Center, Hugo, Minn.
  • Crestview RV Center, Buda, Texas
  • Dixie RV SuperStores, Hammond, La.
  • ExploreUSA RV Supercenter, Plano, Texas
  • General RV Center, Wixom, Mich.
  • Giant RV, Montclair, Calif.
  • Hartville RV Center, Hartville, Ohio
  • Hayes RV Center, Longview, Texas
  • Hilltop Trailer Sales, Fridley, Minn.
  • Lazydays RV, Seffner, Fla.
  • Lifestyle RVs, Grain Valley, Mo.
  • Little Dealer Little Prices, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
  • Minard’s Leisure World, Weyburn, Saskatchewan
  • Modern Trailer Sales, Anderson, Ind.
  • Noble RV, Inc., Owatonna, Minn.
  • Pan Pacific RV Centers, Inc., French Camp, Calif.
  • PleasureLand RV Center, St. Cloud, Minn.
  • Poulsbo RV, Inc., Kent, Wash.
  • Rangeland RV, Balzac, Alberta
  • Rich & Sons RV Headquarters, Grand Island, Neb.
  • Richardson’s RV Centers, Riverside, Calif.
  • Southern RV Supercenter, Bossier City, La.
  • Steinbring Motorcoach, Garfield, Minn.
  • TerryTown Travel Center, Inc., Grand Rapids Mich.
  • Thompson Family RV, Davenport, Iowa
  • Voyager RV Centre, Winfield, British Columbia
  • Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales, New Castle, Ind.
  • Wilkins Recreational Vehicles, Inc., Bath, N.Y.

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