April '20

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rv-pro.com April 2020 • RV PRO • 35 Left: Brett and Dori Parris started Parris RV in 2012, when they bought an existing small dealership in Murray, Utah, near Salt Lake City. Through hard work, they grew the business from a modest operation to one today that has two locations, employs 80 people and sold 1,830 RVs last year. Above left: Toy haulers like the Attitude trailer pictured behind members of the Parris RV north location sales staff are big sellers for the business. The dealership sold about 500 toy haulers last year. business after buying an existing small dealership. The dealership started with just four employees, including Brett and Dori Parrish. "We didn't have a lot of money," Parrish says of the company's beginnings, which followed a 20-year career at another RV dealership, working his way up from the bottom to the top. "We sold our rental house, sold a car, and came up with about $100,000. We quickly sold a bunch of RVs with an $800,000 flooring line. We were down to $50,000 ... and were on thin ice for a minute." It was a New York minute. The dealership sold 380 units in the first year, 600 in the second, 800-plus in the third, then 1,200 in the fourth. It soon acquired an adjacent small used-car property, which was remodeled and christened as its new sales center. An addi- tional car lot was subsequently purchased and its building leveled, further expanding Parris RV's footprint. The existing RV dealership's facility and a shop also was bulldozed for more lot space. Soon there- after, a vacant field across the street was bought, where Parris RV erected its first service facility. In Parris RV's fourth year, it became Utah's No. 1-volume towable RV dealer and remains so. The second location was established four years ago with the acquisition of the former Terry's RV, which had been in business since 1969, and was then remodeled. The original location is referred to as "Murray North" and the second as "Murray South." "We've grown quite a bit," Parris says simply. Overcoming Obstacles to Growth Expansion has continued for the dealership. Most recently, it purchased eight houses and an auto repair shop near its original location, Murray North – all of which were also leveled to become a just-completed 23,000-square-foot service and parts facility that features an elevator and office space on its second level. Its construction required new asphalt, drainage, curbing, gutters, sidewalks, power lines, street infrastructure, city zoning hur- dles and negotiating. "We basically changed the path of two city blocks," says Parris, who added that they also bought another building for service. It wasn't easy. "We had to negotiate with successful businesses that were reluctant to move and homes that people Sales Manager Garry Garrison keeps busy with the volume of sales the dealership does. "People like to buy from a family-owned business rather than from a big corporate dealer that doesn't even have an owner around," owner Brett Parris says of the dealership's popularity.

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