May '20

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12 • RV PRO • May 2020 rv-pro.com RV D E A L E R S A s the coronavirus and its impact reverberates around the economy and the world, Ken Eckstein recalled the time not so long ago when the Great Recession hit. His fledging new dealership was just finding its footing, but despite the challenges, he found a path forward. "The banks were trying to shut me down," says Eckstein, who in 2006 purchased a small dealership, Mark's RV, in Greenfield, Ind., just outside Indianapolis and renamed it Mount Comfort RV. "In 2006, banks were throwing money around like drunken sailors – then (suddenly) no one would loan us dime, though I was good for it." "We were paycheck to paycheck, just trying to make payroll. Every sale was critical," Eckstein recalls. Looking back, however, he says his timing was perfect. When the crash hit, two of the state's larger RV dealerships had to lay off staff and slice inventory, Eckstein recalls. "They had to cut out the fat and get 'lean and mean.' Well, shoot, I had nothing to cut – we were lean to start." As a result, Mount RV grew throughout the downturn – and when the U.S. economy eventually resurfaced, it was standing amidst all the attrition that had transpired. The small dealership Mount Comfort RV got its start in challenging times. Now it's well-positioned to continue to grow and prosper with a new facility and an influx of first-time buyers. By Rob Merwin Rising to Rising to the Challenge the Challenge Above: Ken Eckstein (left) runs Mount Comfort RV with son Rusty (right), who brought new ideas to the dealership, including using social media outlets like Facebook and YouTube to engage with customers and draw new business to the dealership. Top: Mount Comfort RV is located in Greenfield, Ind., just outside Indianapolis. The business started small in 2006 but has grown significantly in recent years, spending $5 million last year alone on a new facility. The dealership routinely has more than 450 RVs on its sales lot, including a large selection of motorhomes. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MOUNT COMFORT RV

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