Keeping Pace in the RV Business

“Dad, are you sure it’s ok to drive these… I don’t have my license yet, just a learner’s permit.” 

Recently at an employee training in Missoula, MT an old story came up.  The RV business consultant we had hired asked my dad (Dave Bretz) to share with the group of 30 parts and service employees how Bretz RV & Marine came to be.  I won’t start all the way back in 1967, but fast-forward 31 years to 1998.  The dealership was located in Missoula on Mullan Road between Reserve Street and Broadway.  For those of you who are good with dates I need not remind you that this was the summer of taking Reserve street (main thoroughfare through town) from two lanes to four lanes.

It was an exciting time for our employees and customers, but probably a bit more stressful for my dad and uncle (Mark Bretz) than they let on. The business had purchased land directly off the interstate at exit 101 and just broken ground on a new facility that was planned to be open the following year.  In the meantime, the massive road construction had blocked access to the current location for nearing 90 days and had virtually eliminated any customers coming in.  That week we were told by the city that we would have no access to the property the following week for the rest of the summer. With the help of every employee, we moved hundreds of RVs, files and equipment over the course of 48 hours to a dirt lot on a then two lane North Reserve Street and set up camp.  We had the best year we’d ever had in terms of sales and most definitely in terms of fun. There were over 40 employees sharing the space of a single mobile office with three little rooms, a coffee pot and two portable bathrooms setup outside.

Sometimes in business we’ve had to take risks to keep pace with what happens in the world around us.  However, what never seems to change is our committed team of employees and loyal customers who continue to be a vital part of getting more families out camping.  As a company we’ve began a new adventure in Billings, MT as well as in Boise, ID.  Just like that summer of 1998 we might be driving on just a learner’s permit, but we have the finest team of employees and best customers to help make sure our best years are yet to come.

Happy Camping

Share Button