Creative Mobile Interiors Offers Sprinter Conversions
Creative Mobile Interiors, C9705, a coach conversion company based in Grove City, Ohio, has successfully entered the type B coach conversion market with the Sprinter PLV (personal luxury vehicle).
The 21.6-foot motorhome is built on DaimlerChrysler’s Sprinter chassis, which is supplied through Freightliner Custom Chassis, C1905. It is powered by a Mercedes-Benz 2.7-liter turbocharged five-cylinder diesel engine that is said to deliver up to 27 mpg.
Like many other high-quality coach conversions, the Sprinter PLV can be equipped with a wide range of amenities depending on the owner’s preferences. For instance, Arthur Hyde of New York City had his motorhome outfitted with European leather seating, maple hardwood floors, honey-colored laminate walls, and Corian countertops. The vehicle includes an outdoor entertainment center, two 37-inch Panasonic plasma TVs, a 22-inch Panasonic LCD TV, an in-motion satellite receiver, and a DVD/CD/MP3 player.
Eric and Trudi Cooper, who hail from southeastern Michigan, travel to art shows and music festivals nearly every weekend to sell their handmade glass jewelry. A Sprinter PLV was converted to suit their artistic tastes.
The Coopers were adventuresome with color and patterns in their vehicle and have called it “a functional work of art.” The motorhome includes touches such as Brazilian Butterfly Verde granite in the galley, a round stainless-steel sink, tumbled marble floor tiles in the shower, a multicolored panel on the wall behind the dinette that gives it the appearance of a U-shaped lounge, a removable solid Brazilian cherry table, and rosewood hardwood floors.
Custom storage was designed to the artists’ exact needs. Their entire art fair display, which previously required a separate trailer, now fits perfectly in the carpeted storage area at the rear of the vehicle. All the long booth pieces fit in additional storage underneath the elevated floor of the rear dinette.
For more information about Creative Mobile Interiors, call (614) 539-4600 or visit www.creativemobileinteriors.com.
New Book Has Travelers Singing
All-American Car-i-oke by David Schiller
Traveling with kids or grandkids can be a terrific experience. But if you’re on the road long enough, you know that you eventually will hear that refrain that strikes the nerve of every driver: “Are we there yet?” For a more enjoyable tune the entire group can sing, pick up All-American Car-i-oke by David Schiller ($14.95, Workman Publishing).
The book and accompanying CD include 15 popular songs, four rounds, three booklets of lyrics for passengers, plus music trivia and other in-vehicle activities. Songs include “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Proud Mary,” “Day-O (Banana Boat Song),” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and “Danny Boy.”
The book is available at all major book retailers or from the publisher at www.workman.com.
Lazydays RV SuperCenter Completes Sale To Private Equity Firm
Lazydays RV SuperCenter, C1702, announced in May that it has successfully completed the sale of the company to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Company LLC (BRS), a private equity firm based in New York.
Prior to the sale, Lazydays had been an employee-owned company through an employee stock ownership program that began in 1995. The BRS purchase will result in more than $29 million being distributed to Lazydays employees based on their allocated shares at the date of closing.
“This is one of the five happiest days of my life,” said Don Wallace, president and CEO of Lazydays. “I have looked forward for many years to rewarding the people who have made Lazydays what I consider to be one of the best companies in the world.”
Lazydays currently employs more than 700 people at its dealership located off Interstate 4 in Seffner, Florida. Mr. Wallace, who founded the company, will continue to serve as the dealership’s president and CEO, and he will remain a significant shareholder.
“Together with BRS, Lazydays will establish a new employee ownership plan in order to maintain the culture that has been so successful for us,” Mr. Wallace said. “We look forward to doing this all over again.”
The BRS investment is expected to accelerate Lazydays’ continued growth, enhance its customer service, and further its leadership position in the RV industry with added capital and support. Lazydays, with sales of more than $750 million in 2003, is on track to become the first single-site dealership in the RV industry to achieve $1 billion in annual sales.
Chicken Soup” Book For The Nature Lover
Chicken Soup for the Nature Lover’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Steve Zikman
Those who enjoy all that nature has to offer will appreciate Chicken Soup for the Nature Lover’s Soul: Inspiring Stories of Joy, Insight and Adventure in the Great Outdoors ($12.95, Health Communications Inc.). This is the newest book in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, which has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide since 1993.
Chicken Soup for the Nature Lover’s Soul, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Steve Zikman, features uplifting stories contributed by a wide variety of writers, including such notables as Charles Kuralt, Robert Fulghum, and Jim Whittaker. The book carries a wonderful message about conservation and the environment, and includes a foreword by John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society.
Whether you’re camping with family and friends, paddling down a river, hiking along a trail, or simply enjoying all that nature has to offer, this collection of heartwarming stories “” from the serene to the extreme “” will inspire all nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering readers a greater appreciation for the wonders, lessons, and adventures of life in the great outdoors.
Indiana Imposes Sales Tax On All RVs Sold In State
The Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (RVIC) was informed by the Indiana Department of Revenue that beginning on July 1, 2004, retailers must collect sales tax on all RVs sold in the state of Indiana. The 6 percent tax applies to all sales, no matter where the customer lives or where the vehicle will be titled.
The Indiana Department of Revenue has indicated that the surrounding states of Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio will give the customer full credit for the taxes paid to Indiana. Even though the states of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not have a sales tax, customers from these states still must pay the Indiana sales tax. Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia will not give residents credit for the 6 percent sales tax paid in Indiana, so customers from these states will be required to pay their own state’s sales tax in addition to the Indiana sales tax.
According to the Department of Revenue, all other states will provide a credit to consumers for sales tax paid to the state of Indiana at the time of purchase. The amount of credit given will not exceed the state sales tax that would be charged at the place of registration. Counties and local jurisdictions that also have a sales tax may or may not provide a credit.
RVIC officials have noted that they will ask the Indiana General Assembly to reconsider this state tax when it reconvenes this fall.
Blue Ox Charges Into NASCAR With New Sponsorships
Blue Ox, C2903, has joined the NASCAR craze by teaming up with two well-known names for the 2004 racing season. Beginning this year, Blue Ox became an associate sponsor of Ward Burton’s Nextel Cup NetZero Chevrolet. Mr. Burton, who began racing in NASCAR’s top series in 1994, has five wins in his career, including the 2002 Daytona 500.
Blue Ox also announced an agreement with Bristol Motor Speedway to sponsor the facility’s campground during its March 2004 and August 2004 Busch Series and Nextel Cup events. During the March event, which drew more than 160,000 fans to the 1/2-mile track located in northeastern Tennessee, Blue Ox signs and banners were prominently displayed throughout the camping area and on the speedway grounds, and Blue Ox highway signs directed RVers to the campground.
Race fans also had the opportunity to check out Blue Ox merchandise at the company’s display booth. On Saturday, Ward Burton stopped by the booth for a two-hour autograph session open to the public. Burton also visited with guests in the Blue Ox suite during the Busch race on Saturday and stopped by an invitation-only reception for company guests Saturday evening.
Blue Ox is busy preparing for the August Food City 250 Busch Series and the Sharpie 500 Nextel Cup races, and according to Jay Hesse, president of Blue Ox, the excitement is already building. “We’re experiencing a great amount of interest by our distributors, dealers, and consumers for August. Everyone wants to attend the night race.”
Amadas Coach Announces Expansion
Amadas Coach Corporation, C10031, a custom bus converter and manufacturer of the Resort Coach, recently announced the expansion of its operations with the addition of a new 50,000-square-foot facility in Suffolk, Virginia. The new facility will serve as the company’s corporate headquarters and as a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for new coach production. Amadas Coach will continue to operate its Moneta, Virginia, facility, which will focus on specialty conversions, service, retrofits, and upgrades.
For more information, contact Amadas Coach at (540) 297-6371 or visit www.amadascoach.com.
Free Yellowhead Highway Map Available
For those who plan to travel the western portion of Canada, The Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association is offering free copies of the “2004 Yellowhead IT! Travel Guide.”
The guide includes a complete Yellowhead Highway map through the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia along Highway 16 and Highway 5. It also features travel information; national and provincial park listings; scheduled community events; First Nations history and current activity; and history of the Yellowhead Highway.
To order a copy of the “Yellowhead IT! Travel Guide,” call (877) GO-YELLOW (469-3556) or visit www.transcanadayellowhead.com, choose the “Travel Information” link, and select the “Travel Guide” button.
Go Camping America Unveils Online Road Trip Planner
Vacations are now easier to plan, thanks to a free online trip-planning service offered by Go Camping America (www.gocampingamerica.com), the consumer Web site of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
“The Ultimate Road Trip Planner” guides campers across the country to their favorite attractions and into some of America’s best RV parks and campgrounds. The state-of-the-art system provides guests a detailed itinerary, a daily schedule, driving directions, suggested activities, and information about private parks and campgrounds, based on the traveler’s preferences and requests. Folks using the online planner can search for local restaurants; check out what movies are playing in town; and find the nearest golf course, outlet mall, antique shop, or other attraction. Itineraries can be saved as a work-in-progress, allowing travelers to collaborate with friends and family around the country as they map out their trip together.
This new consumer tool is made possible by a partnership between ARVC and TripKing, a Web-based road travel planning platform from IntuitiveSearch Inc., of Marblehead, Massachusetts. ARVC represents more than 3,800 commercial RV parks and campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada.