August '20

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rv-pro.com August 2020 • RV PRO • 33 for truck caps while another had been used for manufacturing RVs. "The buildings weren't designed to be a dealership – it was all chopped up," Bailey says. "We had to walk past two buildings to get to service and we sometimes had to take customers a mile up the road to where we had units stored for them to see." The previous location also was on a side road with low visibility, she adds. "There were people in a town nearby who didn't even know we existed," she says. It was time to move. Fame RV is now situated on 14 fenced-in acres with a remodeled facility that's roughly 9,000 square feet. It houses all departments, including a retail hard- ware store that the dealership also owns, which doubles as a source for tools and supplies, such as paint, caulking and building materials. The remodel included new ceilings and raised rafters, updated drainage sys- tems, a new parking lot, landscaping and a complete refresh at a cost of $700,000. Its service department can now accom- modate more than 15 RVs, compared to the dealership's former two-bay facility. It was a game-changer, Bidwell says. The closest competition is two stores in Erie, Pa., about 40 minutes away, and the store is less than two hours from Pitts- burgh, Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y. "We're in a pretty good sweet spot," Bailey says. Division of Labor Proves Beneficial Although both cousins share many of the same managerial responsibilities and sales, Bidwell's focus is on parts and ser- vice, while Bailey's concentration is inven- tory management and floorplans. "We sell a lot of park models, so Derek takes care of all campground and on-the- road service, scheduling, and parts and warranties on that end – we all wear many hats," Bailey says. Service, though, is how Fame RV differentiates itself from its neighboring stores and other dealerships, according to the cousins. "Service has grown our business, because for years and years, we only serviced the units we sold. Now we service everyone's – including with mobile service," he says. "No matter where they bought their RV, we'll take care of them. And maybe they'll buy their next one from us." "The old bays were small and tight," Bailey adds, "so they weren't reassuring to customers with larger RVs, but now we can service big units and motorhomes." The dealership benefits from popular nearby campgrounds that are frequented by RV enthusiasts from the Pittsburgh region. "Many of them buy from us here, instead of in Pittsburgh, and we'll deliver the units to their campground," Bailey says. Every year has been a record year since the cousins moved, and they esti- mate growth has been 30 percent. Bailey ENERGY ® Fame RV has about 130 units on its sales lot, primarily Keystone RV trailers and fifth wheels. Keystone is good about sending replacement parts quickly and approving warranty claims in a timely manner, according to the Fame RV co-owners Bidwell and Bailey.

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