5 years ago

Driftwood RV Driftwood RV

Driftwood RV Driftwood RV

“This area, Cape May

“This area, Cape May County, has over 15,000 campsites alone,” says John Worthington Sr., Driftwood’s longtime marketing and information technology director. “There are a ton of campsites and a ton of park models, and we put a good amount of them in all the campgrounds around here.” That includes Driftwood’s own campgrounds. Driftwood Camping Resort was purchased by founders Malcolm and Jean Robertson several years before the dealership opened in 1977 and now boasts about 850 campsites in Clermont next to the RV sales lot. A second campground adjacent the site was purchased later; what is now Driftwood Too!, was renovated in 2009 and features 100 sites. “We have plans on the books that, once Driftwood rV owners Malcolm (left) and edson robertson and their dedicated employees have built the business into new Jersey’s largest dealer by sales volume for five years in a row. Driftwood rV has grown to two locations: its 15,000-square-foot flagship store in the cape May, n.J., area, and a smaller location in egg harbor township near Atlantic city. September 2012 • RV PRo • 45

Driftwood RV the first section is built out, we are going to take the other section of Driftwood Too! and redo it completely,” says Robert Androckitis, Driftwood’s general manager. “It will be another 100 sites.” The Robertsons’ sons, Malcolm and Edson, oversee Driftwood’s operations now. Park Models Popular Park models and park trailers by Breckenridge, Canterbury, Fairmont and Driftwood’s most-recent inventory addition, Shore Park, sell well and quickly because they offer customers affordable options to maintain homes near the shore, Worthington says. Like most beach communities, lodging in New Jersey often is expensive close to the shore; Driftwood’s campsites are just a few miles from the water. “A place down near the shore might cost you $350,000 or more,” he says. “A park model in a campground can start at $39,000; it’s so much more affordable … “There are other areas of country where park models are popular; out in the Midwest near the lakes there are some, and in Florida. We are the only dealer in southern New Jersey; really, New Jersey at all, that is big in the park models.” It’s a successful strategy. Driftwood is New Jersey’s largest dealer in terms of sales volume, a title it’s held for five years. Revenue eclipsed $15 million in 2011. “A varied product mix, along with an average unit sale of greater than $27,000, provides Driftwood with a level of confidence that 2012 will be another successful year,” says Joe Skladanek, Driftwood’s chief financial officer. Park model sales, new and used, represented 11 percent of Driftwood’s total unit sales by unit quantity and 22 percent of total unit sales by dollars, Skladanek says. Driftwood also has its own staff of carpenters available to add rooms and decks to the park models, if requested. In addition, the dealership’s 4,000-square-foot heated and air-conditioned indoor showroom in Clermont, a rarity in New Jersey, houses everything from park models to pop-ups. Driftwood opened the new building in 2007. It is 15,000 square feet, including a 4,600-square-foot service shop with five bays. Egg Harbor’s facility was renovated in 2009 and boasts and two service bays on a lowered floor to accommodate larger RVs, and there are plans for more upgrades soon to add a new façade and pavement. The Driftwood RV has the largest indoor showroom in the state of New Jersey. Park models like the one pictured here are particularly popular with customers. Driftwood Finance Manager Craig Miller reviews finance contracts in his office. Miller, a longtime employee, has been with Driftwood for more than 35 years, starting as a 15-year-old seasonal employee with the campground and later holding posts in service, sales and finance over the years. current campground office was built in 2010 and the next phase of campground development could start in 2013 or 2014. “We really run the gamut,” Worthington says. “We have young families buying and we have retirees who are looking to settle down with park models. … We have seen a shift lately toward more towables from park models with costs and the economy, but park models remain popular.” Driftwood’s own campsites are full during the peak season and there about 100 transient sites between the two locations, Worthington says. New Jersey law allows parks to operate nine months of the year. Cape May County generated more than $5 billion in tourism in 2010, statistics from Cape May County Department of Tourism show. Accommodations accounted for nearly $2.9 billion. Campsites, Dealership Promote Each Other Although Driftwood’s campgrounds host day trips to Atlantic City’s famed 46 • RV PRo • September 2012

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