This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
The skyrocketing gas prices from last summer have had an effect on many businesses and industries both large and small. With all the travel done by recreational vehicles, I was especially curious about how this had affected the RV business. My questions were answered after my visit with Wayne Merrill of Sundance RV in Vernal.
Wayne quickly assured me that his business has not been negatively impacted by fuel costs. Dealers in other parts of the country are hurting, but Sundance RV has some of the strongest sales of any dealer. Wayne tells me this is because of the many scenic areas nearby, from Utah's great desert areas to its national forests. You can see parked RVs in yards, garages and driveways across the Uintah Basin. It's a strong tradition in the area.
The Uintah Basin has a booming economy and there are many young working professionals making between $30 and $40 an hour. This contributes to the dealership's high sales. Also, Wayne showed me that if you put a pencil to paper, even with gasoline priced at $4 per gallon and a truck pulling the RV that gets about 16 miles to the gallon, the total cost for a trip isn't much higher than it was a couple of years ago.
Sundance RV has beautiful new facilities. The lot was full of gorgeous RVs of all sizes and prices. I loved the Jazz model manufactured by Thor of California. Wayne took me inside and I was blown away by all of the accoutrements of a lovely home it had such as the queen bed, full glass shower, large flat-screen TV and built-in coffee maker. It was spectacular! Other models were equally luxurious and beautifully equipped.
Prior to owning Sundance RV, Wayne was in the insurance business in Salt Lake City. He and his wife, Pam, moved to Vernal, and Wayne went to work for another RV dealer. The couple decided to become business owners and opened Sundance in 1997. Business was initially good and has continued its outstanding growth.
Sundance RV delivers unmatched service to customers, employees and the community in a friendly, meticulous and visionary manner. "It's different here," Wayne emphasized.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.