The family that owned Nelson’s RVs has sold its three dealerships to Camping World after 33 years.
The sale April 6 included two Garden City dealerships at 4911 and 5309 Chinden Blvd., and one in Caldwell at 5500 E. Cleveland Blvd. The dealerships employ about 75 people.
The sale means Camping World now has five locations in Idaho, including supercenters in Meridian and Idaho Falls. Camping World will continue to operate the Chinden Boulevard dealerships as Nelson’s RVs, the family said. The Caldwell location is being rebranded as a Camping World RV SuperCenter.
Camping World, part of a publicly traded company based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, has operated in Idaho since 2007, when it bought the former Bodily RV Center at 1580 W. Overland Road in Meridian and Bodily RV’s Idaho Falls location.
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In a news release, Nelson’s RVs said it had sold sold about 27,000 trailers, campers and motor homes since its founding in 1983 by three Nelson-family couples: Byron and Donna Nelson, Wilma and Roy Petersen, and Karen and Tom Nelson.
The first dealership was at 5309 Chinden Blvd., which continued as a sales and service building managed by Tyler Nelson, who retired along with Tom Nelson on the sale date. Other family members helped the Boise company grow, including Nola and Natalie Nelson; Cliff Robinson, who was with the company for 12 years and managed the Caldwell location; and Cynthia Nelson, who recently retired after 23 years.
Tom Nelson, the president, and Byron and Donna Nelson continue to own the three dealership properties and lease them to Camping World. Byron Nelson is now chief financial officer and founding partner of Air Filter Superstore Wholesale in Boise. Other family members have moved to other ventures over the years.
“It has been a pleasure to help Treasure Valley families enjoy the great outdoors for all these years,” Tom Nelson said in a statement. “We’re very proud of our staff and our loyal customers, many of whom are now our friends. We will miss them all.”
The family declined to disclose the sale price.
Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World Holdings Inc., said, “We look forward to continuing their high standards of quality and service and solidifying our leading position in the state of Idaho.”