Bretz RV and Marine in Missoula was already the largest dealer of its kind in Montana before the company underwent a massive expansion this past summer.
“We did a number of things out here on the property,” said manager Matt Madsen. “The most noticeable is the 15,000 square feet we added of showroom space. We elected to glass it all in, so as you drive by on the Interstate, you can kind of take a peek in to see what we have.
"In Montana, it allows us to extend our season. We will have a place, when we have six inches of snow on the ground, where people can come look at RVs and boats and be warm and not have to be shoved around the lot in freezing cold weather.”
The company, headquartered at 4800 Grant Creek Road, also doubled the size of its overnight parking area for customers from 11 to 22 spaces.
“We have a lot of out-of-town customers,” Madsen explained. “We provide overnight parking when they come in for service or for a new motor home or fifth-wheel. We offer water hookups and added a second RV dump station for people that are traveling from out of town to have service work done. It’s a really nice feature to offer our customers.”
The company currently has 114 employees and is looking to hire multiple positions at its Missoula, Boise and Billings locations.
“We are looking for everything from good qualified technicians to sales people,” Madsen said. “We are hiring in almost every capacity, and that number is definitely poised to grow here. We are looking to expand at all three locations. It’s good. The economy is solid, banks are getting aggressive when it comes to lending, and RVs provide affordable family fun. Young families want to be able to go out on the lake and camp out. It’s been a pretty solid year.”
Madsen said that although baby boomers who want to hit the road in their retirement make up a large portion of the business, it’s actually young families who are driving the growth of the RV industry in the Northwest.
“We are seeing more young families buying trailers, more people that have never owned RVs before buying stuff,” he explained. “We have brand new travel trailers that start at payments of less than $100 a month, so a lot of families see the value in these and want to get out.
"When you get old, you look back at your memories of camping with your family as a kid and those are some of the best memories. Even if it was pouring rain the whole time. So that’s one of the best indicators of what’s going on in the industry, is you are seeing first-time customers more than in any of the 12 years I’ve been here, which is really cool.”
Madsen said the RV industry is growing steadily.
"Here in the state of Montana, the numbers are really, really good," he said. "So we are looking to keep up with demand and grow the business."
For more information, visit www.bretzrv.com.