|March 2002||Volume 27 - Number 8|
Cover Story Page 2
Years later, here I am interviewing the same guy who built a multi-million dollar business from three Apache tent trailers that he had to assemble himself, and put on display for the visitors touring the Mohawk Trail. Today, LongView RV SuperStores is the #1 Gulf Stream dealer in the country.
This is quite a feat when you consider how many other companies and brands they sell from their two major lots in Northampton, MA and Windsor Locks, CT. In addition to the full Gulf Stream product line, consumers will find Aerolite, Alfa, Country Coach, Dutchmen, Fleetwood, Forest River, Holiday Rambler, Jayco, Keystone, Thor and Trail-Lite. In addition to this vast selection, they recently picked up the Safari product line at the Louisville show and are anxiously awaiting the first arrivals at their dealership.
At the upcoming Perry, GA rally, the company will showcase the new MCI 3500 bus conversion by Angola Coach. Although it will be the most expensive coach ever sold by LongView, Roberts is convinced that it will be a timely addition to his product mix. This will be a production bus conversion that will sell in the $500,000 range. Fran noted, "This will be a great product for someone who really wants that high-end bus but doesn't want to pay a million dollars for a full Prevost conversion."
The past few years Fran has taken a strong position against all the New England show activity and developed his highly successful RV No-Show and Sale events that are held in conjunction with local shows. Started four years ago when he decided to withdraw from the Hartford RV show, they scheduled the event on the same dates, but at the Windsor Locks dealership. They used extensive radio and print advertising to make sure the consumers going to the show would stop by their lot and make the final deal with LongView.
It must be working.
This year they extended the program to include the Northampton lot and significantly reduced their investment and display area in the Springfield Camping and Outdoor Show.