August '20

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96 • RV PRO • August 2020 rv-pro.com Breaking news exclusives from RV PRO's website In Case You Missed it RV I N S I G H T Bretz RV & Marine Wins Defamation Lawsuit Bretz RV & Marine has won a $192,500 settlement against a Montana couple who waged a social media campaign to smear the dealership's reputation after trying to back out of the purchase of a pontoon boat. President/CEO Mark Bretz said he and his attorneys made sure there was no non-disclosure or confidentiality agree- ment in the settlement because he had "had enough" of being attacked online for no reason and wants to make sure that word gets out that there are consequences for spreading lies about a business. "We've been in business for 52 years, and you don't stay in business that long without treating people right," Bretz told RV PRO in a phone interview. "In just a matter of minutes, a dis- gruntled customer can really hurt your reputation and leave you with little ability to tell the other side of the story." Bretz said that in February 2019, John and Yvonne Gibson of Butte, Mont., signed a purchase agreement and made a $2,000 down payment to buy a pontoon boat for $67,438 from the Missoula, Mont., dealership. However, the lawsuit alleges the Gibsons subsequently experienced "buyer's remorse". According to court documents, after getting home, the Gibsons contacted the dealership and claimed they had found "the exact same" boat in North Carolina for $20,000 less. In truth, the boat advertised online was a year older, did not include a trailer and had several marked-down discounts for wear and tear because it was a "demonstration model". The boat also had more than $14,000 less in optional equipment. In March, after saying they would come to the dealership to take possession of the boat, Yvonne Gibson took to Facebook to make the first of a number of defamatory posts about the Bretz dealership, according to court records. One of her posts invited others to make similar posts if they had bad experi- ences to report. After contacting the buyer numerous times and requesting the removal of the posts, Bretz said he just got tired of being "slandered and blackmailed" and decided to pursue a court case. Bretz sued for breach of contract and defamation. Read more: https://rv-pro.com/news/bretz-rv-wins-law- suit-defamation?utm Black Folks Camp Too Brings New Prospects to Dealers People who have met Earl B. Hunter Jr. would call him a "hundred percenter." He is all-in on whatever task or business he sets his mind to. Hunter cut his teeth in the RV industry five years ago when he left his position as an executive at a sourcing company and joined SylvanSport. He helped take the company from less than $1 million in sales annually to more than $17 million over four years. In joining the company, Hunter figured what better way to learn the industry from the inside than to start camping himself. He says, "I knew nothing about the industry before I arrived. Zero. I had never been camping before. I saw a product and then I saw the industry. I figured, let me go learn the product and the industry and if I learn it, I can change it." On a 14,000-mile road trip with his son, Hunter realized almost 100 percent of the people at the campgrounds did not look like his family. Specifically, after visiting 49 campgrounds across 20 states over three months, Hunter and his son met only one other Black family camping. In August 2019, Hunter left SylvanSport to start a company born out of that camping trip. On Oct. 10, at the Outdoor Economy Conference, Hunter announced the start of Black Folks Camp Too, a company that has become an absolute passion for Hunter. Looking back, Hunter believes he may have been the only Black executive at an RV manufacturer and one of only a few Black executives in the entire industry, but Hunter doesn't want that to be the focus. He seeks to educate Black folks on the benefits of camping and to show the industry how to embrace diversity, which can lead to a more inclusive outdoors and, ultimately, more sales. As Hunter cheerfully says, "Black people have money, too, so why not invite them into the outdoor lifestyle?" Read more: https://rv-pro.com/features/black-folks-camp- too-brings-new-prospects-dealers Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. is on a mission to bring greater inclusivity to the RV market and new prospects into RV dealerships.

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