Don's RV Center, located between Ceres and Keyes on Highway 99, is set for expansion following the Stanislaus County Planning Commission's recent approval of the center's plans to create an additional recreational vehicle sales yard.
"We've simply outgrown the space we're in," said owner Don Clark. "We're expanding because the economy is good, and all the signs are good."
The 4.87 acre parcel, located adjacent to the existing RV center at 4872 Rohde Road, east of Highway 99 north of Keyes, was approved to be designated from Medium Density Residential to Commercial in order to allow for the expansion at the Planning Commission's Nov. 17 meeting. The expansion will take place in three phases, and when completed will bring an additional 101 RV parking spaces to the business.
Phase 1, proposed to be completed within 18 months, includes 30 new RV spaces along the frontage of Rohde Road, fencing and landscaping of the perimeter, a new driveway, two new gates, parking lots lights and additional surveillance. Phase 2 of the project will be completed within 30 months and includes 71 additional RV spaces. Phase 3, which will be completed within 36 months, will pave the new RV spaces.
According to Clark, Don's RV Center has reaped the benefits of the improving economy, and in the past during the recession when many RV dealers suffered financially, the center's RV servicing kept it from feeling the sting of troubled times.
"We're known for our service," said Clark. "Our sale site took a little hit when the economy was bad, but our service kept us through it. People weren't buying RVs, but they fixed up other ones and put money into the ones they had already."
Another factor contributing to the RV center's success is location, Clark said.
"We have a lot of people that travel to the sales yard to buy RVs," he said. "We're about an hour's drive from Yosemite and the Bay Area, so we're in the perfect location to serve those people."
The expansion will bring employment opportunities to the surrounding Ceres area, although Clark is unsure of the exact number of employees that will be hired to tend to the larger lot. Along with more employees, he hopes the expansion will allow Don's RV Center to continue providing the community with quality service.
"It will bring more employees, and that means we'll be able to take care of more people," he said. "That's what separates us from other RV dealers - we want to take care of our customers."