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Old 06-24-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
Montana Master
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Local Montana dealer.....................Gone!

The local Montana dealer has disappeared almost overnight. From what I hear, the bank sort of sucker-punched them and called due the note for all of their inventory on Friday, right out of left field. It must have been in the $10-20 million range as they had loads of motor coaches, 5er's, and TT's on the lot.

Gresham RV, in Gresham, Oregon, closes the doors today after 30 years. They would have shut them down on Friday, except that they had some unfinished work on someones 5th wheel in service, and they were hanging around for the customer to show up and get his rig today. There was even an independent security guard outfit on the premises to keep an eye on the inventory.

Even though I did not purchase my 5er from them, I did frequent their parts department. The parts department was unable to sell anything when I went in this afternoon. Just some people in picking up things that they had ordered pre-paid earlier on. I feel badly for everyone that worked there. Forty-something employees out of work. The situation may have been brewing earlier on and known about at the upper management level, but from the employee perspective, nobody that I talked to saw it coming down the pike.

There was some optimism from some of them that they may start over at a later date and different location, but time will tell on that. Hopefully, if they do re-emerge, they will update their business model to better compete in the modern sales arena. Their sales department was similar to a car dealership, with the back and forth offer/counter offer, "I'll go see what the sales manager says about this offer.", type of scenario. I don't think it is a model that works very well anymore. IMO, they need to modernize, if indeed they do make a comeback.

I guess they were not alone in the "note due" demand from the bank, as it is rumored that 90+ other businesses were also put in the same position of "Buy your inventory now, or we will take it and liquidate it for you."

So, if you usually have your service work done there, you will need to find somewhere else to get it done.

I don't know if Keystone will pull the Montana line from them and award it to some other dealer in the area, but if they do, Olinger Travel Homes would be a likely one to get it as they have a nice facility and carry the Everest, Raptor, and Sprinter lines already.

I hate banks, they have no soul and they could give a rip about any of their customers. I do all my stuff through local credit unions these days. At least they know my name when I walk in the door.

Anyway, that's my news for the day.

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Old 06-24-2009, 01:48 PM   #2
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Another tragic story of the times.

I hope you find another reliable site to haggle your business.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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Art I'm with you on this one. I have never (except for houses) borrowed money from a bank and won't start now. Credit Union is the only way to go and with better rates.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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I agree about credit unions. As far as I am concerned, I don't trust banks as far as I can throw them. Luckily, I just got a couple of time shares at Melrose CU in NY at 3.03% for a year. Unfortunately, they just dropped their rates.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:31 PM   #5
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Haggling is here to stay, I think. Yes, it is tough all over these United States, as I myself can attest to. I, also, was laid off last August. At 54, it was a little early for my retirement plans, but as of this moment, I am considering remaining a non-working individual.

When I later purchased my Montana in November, I looked for a combination of things, the best deal, best customer service, most friendly staff, etc. I concluded that the local dealer did not fit in with all of my criteria, so I bought from a different dealer, way far away. I won't mention any names, but the initials of the dealer where I purchased at are:

Walnut Ridge Family RV in New Castle, Indiana. In case anyone is curious, the salesman's initials are Shane Garringer.

I do feel sorry for the out of work employees, ...as for the higher-ups that got them there by using an antiquated business model, eh, not so much.

Conserving capital is fairly high on my list, so I shop around. That's just the way it is. I don't think that the economy will change for the better any time soon either, so for the ones that can't change and compete, it will be a difficult row to hoe.

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Old 06-25-2009, 06:38 AM   #6
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Me thinks there is more to the story . Hard to beleive that there was no warning. The business had to know what the finanical status was. They could have gone the bankrutcy route if In finanical trouble. If the owners knew of the problem sounds like they did not care..There is more to the story. We note that both of our local dealers have little inventory on the lot and will only order when you buy. We do use banks and credit unions when necessary and have not as of yet had a problem.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:44 AM   #7
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Wow I didn't know that.......we bought our 2008 3665RE from Gresham RV, they were great to work with. So sad.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
stiles watson
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A bank did that to my brother's business several years ago. He had never missed or been late with a payment. He let all of it go, then he sued the bank and took them to the cleaners.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:54 PM   #9
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My local deal said that he has sold more units this year to date than all last year. Last year he equaled the prior years sales in September. He did a 2 week shopping center sale a month or so ago and sold 21 units. On my current trip I ran across a transporter at a diesel pump, asked him how was business and he said he is busy. When he picked up his current delivery, there were 75 more going out that morning.
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