La Mesa RV Center, a big San Diego-based recreational-vehicle dealer, has bought the building and property at Liberty Lake formerly occupied by Foretravel Northwest, and has opened a La Mesa dealership and service center there.
La Mesa claims to be the nations largest multi-location dealer of RVs. Counting the acquisition here and another one completed recently in Salt Lake City, the company now operates 10 dealerships in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Utah.
James Kimbrell, the companys founder and CEO, wouldnt disclose terms of the transaction here. He says, though, that he expects the La Mesa dealership here eventually to employ 40 to 50 peoplesubstantially more than Foretravel Northwest didand to generate annual revenue of around $40 million.
Well end up employing a lot more people than he (Foretravel Inc. owner James Fore) did, and well be doing a lot more volume, Kimbrell says. He says La Mesa has retained most of the 12 or so employees who had been working for Foretravel Northwest before it closed.
Foretravel Northwest, operated by Texas-based RV manufacturer Foretravel Inc., was a luxury RV dealer, selling new RVs priced mostly in the $300,000-to-$650,000 range and some used RVs. Kimbrell says La Mesa is more of a middle-of-the-road kind of seller, and he adds, Our real specialty is we sell a lot of used (RVs).
La Mesa claims to be the worlds largest seller of Winnebago RVs. In Spokane, Kimbrell says, the company will carry RV brands such as Itasca by Winnebago, Gulf Stream, R-Vision, National RV, and Damon RV.
Our Spokane location offers a strategic link in the ability to provide RVers with a familiar choice from the southern to the northern borders of the United States, he says.
Kimbrell started La Mesa in San Diego 31 years ago, and it has grown from a single location with 50 employees to a multistate enterprise that now employs more than 1,000 people.
Foretravel Northwest General Manager Terry Solinsky disclosed several months ago that a prospective buyer, whom he declined to name, was negotiating to acquire the dealerships assets and that a sale was pending.
Foretravel Inc. had announced earlier that it planned to divest its factory-owned stores and convert to an independent-dealer network as part of a new strategy aimed at increasing its national exposure.
The Liberty Lake facility is located on a five-acre site just west of the former Land Rover of Spokane dealership.
It includes a 17,000-square-foot sales, parts, and service building, plus a large paved area and landscaped area for displaying RVs. Foretravel Inc. developed the property three years ago at a cost of about $2.5 million and moved its Foretravel Northwest dealership there from Coeur dAlene, where it had operated for 16 years.
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