ST. ALBANS -- Enormous luxury RVs, trailers, camping accessories and more: Swanton road will soon be home to Camping World, a premier retailer in luxury camping supplies, vacation gear and even some watercraft, who acquired TC’s RVs earlier this month.
“TC’s RV’s was a very strategic move for us,” said Josh Erickson, Senior Vice President of the RV Dealership Group. “By the end of next year, we will be the only dealership company in all lower 48 states.”
Town Selectboard Chair Brendan Deso heralded the move, and said he was hopeful for the commerce the acquisition would bring to the Town’s economy.
“We look forward to welcoming Camping World to our community, and thank them for choosing to locate and create jobs in the Town of St. Albans,” Deso said.
What is Camping World?
Camping World took the notion of the great outdoors and transformed it into a business, stocking anything that outdoor enthusiasts needed to get outside and have a good time.
Including luxury campers and recreational vehicles featuring ten foot ceilings, a washer and dryer, 70-inch televisions, island kitchens and fireplaces.
Though the brand began in 1956, Camping World became its own dealership in 2003 and has since grown to become a five-billion dollar company with 170 locations across the country, the largest retailer of RVs in the nation.
Camping World has also been publicly traded since 2016, Erickson said.
Why Saint Albans Town?
“I had a similar thought, but from the second I got off of the exit I knew it was the right choice,” Erickson said. “This place is on the move. You’ve got two brand-new dealerships and a Walmart that is relatively new, and all of that suggest a similar demographic to our customer base. I was incredibly enthusiastic to see what is happening here in St. Albans Town.”
Erickson also noted that the camping community and commercial traffic from Canada down through the border provided yet another market that Camping World hoped to serve.
What can St. Albans expect?
“That dealership will employ 50 people off the bat,” Erickson said. “We’re a publicly-traded company. We will be good for the Town and the Town’s industry, and will be in good concert with the community.”
Erickson said the company initially planned to move into the existing building that once housed TC’s RVs, but company plans shifted to building a brand-new state of the art facility on the property instead, open for business by the end of the third quarter next year.
“It will be significantly bigger,” Erickson said. “A top to bottom traditional facility with Rvs, bunk houses, the full gamut of travel trailers, tents and sleeping bags...we are the greatest conduit to the outdoors. And if there is a big water community, there will be kayaks and fishing poles, too.”
Erickson said the company is trying to get as much groundwork done as they can this year, and hope to open in October of 2022.
In September, Camping World will be rolling out our first electric camping facilities, an especially exciting prospect given Vermont’s statewide commitment to environmentalism.
“We have a commitment to conserving the outdoors from social responsibility standpoint,” Erickson said. “What we are looking at now from a technology perspective is exciting. We will be selling off the grid technologies.”
Part of the community
Erickson said one of the prospects that Camping World and its employees are looking forward to are extending their sponsorship of major league sports teams to St. Albans Town teams, events, clubs and organizations as a way of giving back to the community.
“We do encourage the general managers to go out and sponsor the little league teams,” Erickson said. “You’ll definitely see us participating (in community events.)”
By Kate Barcellos at the St. Albans Messenger. Link to the original article here.