POCATELLO — The official RV and outdoor supply company of Major League Baseball is coming to the Gate City just in time for Christmas this year.
Gander RV of Pocatello is set to host a grand opening at its new location, the former Bish’s RV at 3855 Hawthorne Road, on Dec. 7, says Richard Sharp, general manager of Gander RV of Pocatello.
“This is a very important market for us to be a part of,” Sharp told the Idaho State Journal during a Monday phone interview. “The bigger question is, ‘Why wouldn’t we pick Pocatello?’ The Pocatello market is as big as Idaho Falls, and really, growing faster than they are. Take a look at home values in Pocatello — they are growing exponentially. It’s a perfect place to be. Why we weren’t here before is the real question.”
Gander RV & Outdoor stores are part of the Camping World family, the nation’s largest network of RV-centric retail locations. Camping World Holdings in May 2017 acquired and renamed the Gander Outdoor brand after the bankruptcy of Gander Mountain that same year.
In addition to the partnership Gander Outdoors has with Major League Baseball, Camping World has served as the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR since 2009. Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, also serves as the home for world class events like the NFL Pro Bowl, Citrus Bowl and Camping World Bowl.
Founded in 1966, Camping World has grown to include 225 locations across the country. A Camping World store opened in Idaho Falls in 2014.
Sharp will become the general manager of the Gander RV of Pocatello when it opens, leaving his current role as the sales manager for the Camping World at 1355 Tara St. in Idaho Falls.
The Gander RV of Pocatello will have just over 8 acres of land to work with after acquiring the approximately 3 acres of land and building that Bish’s RV previously occupied and executing an agreement with Pocatello commercial real estate company Dale’s Inc. to lease about 5 acres of adjacent land and the building that Cowboy Oil Co. previously occupied.
“Anytime you can add a company like Gander RV of Pocatello to this side of town it will be a tremendous boost to the Highway 30-Garrett Way area,” said Rob Kirkham, general manager for Dale’s Inc. “This is an awesome new addition for our community.”
The former Bish’s RV building will offer Gander RV of Pocatello 10,000 square feet and will serve as the one-stop shop for any retail products including firearms, fishing supplies, fishing licenses, camping materials, towing equipment, RV accessories and any other outdoor living needs. Additionally, that building will serve as a full-service station for all Gander and Camping World RVs and any RV owner looking for a new crew of trusted mechanics, Sharp said.
The former Cowboy Oil Co. truck stop will serve as a detailing shop and extra storage space for Gander RV of Pocatello.
“With being able to use the Cowboy Oil Co. space we can now house a couple hundred RV units in addition to our full-service and detail stations,” Sharp said. “Understanding that we can sell anywhere from 500 to 1,000 units per year at the Gander RV of Pocatello, ensuring we had the adequate space for service and detailing was critical to serving our customers.”
Sharp said it’s been essentially a mad dash to get the entire property and storefront ready in time for the grand opening in December, with at least 11 projects underway currently.
“We are updating paint with specific Gander and Camping World colors and working to install a 61-foot Gander sign out front that is lighted,” Sharp said. “We are moving some walls inside and adding some secure locations for our guns and firearms. We also installed a culvert between the old Bish’s and Cowboy Oil Co. buildings, so we have the ability to drive into and access units in the Cowboy Oil area without using any public streets. We also added a chain-link security fence around the entire property because ensuring our customers’ units are secure is a top priority.”
Once complete, the renovated building and property will be large enough to boast about 200 RVs on site
The grand opening event will feature incredible sales opportunities for RVs, RV equipment as well as camping, hunting and fishing gear, says Sharp, adding that customers are encouraged to wear face coverings and to social distance.
“We are beyond very excited about the new store set to open in Pocatello,” Sharp says. “People have been driving by asking what we are doing and just lighting up. ‘It’s about time,’ is what we hear the most.”