RV Business Top 50 Dealer Award
RV Business Magazine 2300 Middlebury Street Elkhart, Indiana
38002 US 290, Waller,TX 77484
For Immediate Release
Oct. 10, 2010
RV Business Magazine Places Topper's Camping Center in Top 50 RV Dealers in North America
Houston, Texas - RV Business magazine recently named its Top 50 RV Dealers in North America, which included local dealership Topper's Camping Center near Waller.
"Given the adversity of economic downturn for such a long period, we feel very fortunate to be prospering when other businesses are not doing so well," said Larry Troutt, owner and manager of Topper's Camping Center. "Texans have discovered the extreme value of RV camping during tough economic times."
In its third year, the program garnered a higher number of responses and depth of response, said RV Business publisher Sherman Goldenberg. "It was apparent that these dealers are coming out of rough times and were both tough and creative in their endeavors to do so. They clearly had a lot to be proud of and a lot to say about it, and rightfully so."
U.S. and Canadian recreation vehicle and park model manufacturers nominated dealers whom they considered to be among their best, and those dealers were invited to apply for the Top 50 program. After the applications were collected, a judging panel made up of independent industry veterans convened to review the applications and select the Top 50. Criteria were not based on sales, but on customer service and satisfaction, employee training and education, and sound planning and initiatives.
"Because we received so much more information and from more dealers, it was a long two days for the judges before they could settle on the Top 50," Goldenberg said, adding that five of the dealerships were additionally honored as Blue Ribbon dealers. "Those who made the cut should be very proud. It took even more to be included this year because the group of competitors really stepped it up as a whole."
"We were especially honored to be recognized again this year among the top RV dealerships because our team of professionals worked almost twice as hard during the 2010 recovery period from the Great Recession," said Troutt. "To be selected as a Blue Ribbon dealership for extraordinary efforts during the worst conditions of 2009, was surprising. But to again be placed among the Top 50 during more profitable times, during recovery, was humbling."
The Top 50 were recognized by RV Business and their industry peers at an Oct. 9 awards dinner at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Ann Coulter, conservative pundit and author, was the celebrity guest speaker.
"Recognition by all the different participants of an entire industry is very special," said Troutt. "The managers and staff of Topper's Camping Center have done a great job under very tough conditions. They deserve a spotlight for being among the best of the best."
For more information about Topper's Camping Center, visit www.ToppersRVs.com.
About the Top 50 RV Dealers Program: The program's purpose is to showcase credible role models and establish best business practices benchmarks at the retail level of the RV industry in terms of staff training, performing warranty and service work, managing aftermarket stores, superior consumer care and being good citizens of their respective communities. The dealerships were selected among those nominated as the best by North America's RV manufacturers. The program was founded and coordinated in 2008 by RV Business magazine with additional underwriting support provided by Leadership Alliance sponsors ADP Lightspeed, Bank of the West, Blue Ox, Cummins Onan RV Generators, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., RV America Insurance, RV Trader Online and Protective.
RV Business Magazine • 2300 Middlebury Avenue • Elkhart, Indiana
For Immediate Release
Oct. 12, 2009
Topper's Camping Center Named Into Top 50 RV Dealerships in North America
Houston, TX - Recent headlines declare the recession to be on its way out, with many eyes on the recovery of the recreation vehicle industry as a precursor of nationwide economic trends. Emphasizing the good news is the announcement of RV Business magazine's Top 50 RV Dealers in North America, which included local dealership Topper's Camping Center in Waller on the outskirts of Houston.
"It's important that a Houston-area, Texas dealership is included among the top 50," said dealership owner Larry Troutt. "Our local economy has remained stronger than much of the U.S. during this bad, national recession. RV usage and the quality of service provided RV owners by dealers has actually improved."
Topper's, the only dealership in Texas receiving an award was also designated as one of the top 10, "Blue Ribbon" dealers among the 50 winners. Troutt is the out-going chairman of the national RV dealer's trade association. This is the second year for the top 50 dealer awards program, and the first time including dealers in Canada. The response was overwhelming in spite of the general economic atmosphere this year.
"What really makes this story amazing is that even with the headwinds of 2009, we received about 40% more applicants than in 2008," said RV Business publisher Sherman Goldenberg. "The competition was a lot tougher this year, which tells us that those who applied and especially those who were selected by the judges are truly exceptional. You know they have to be doing something right to not only withstand the down economy, but to exemplify best business practices at the same time."
Dealers nominated by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers were invited to apply for the Top 50 program. After the applications were collected, a panel of independent industry judges convened to review the applications and select the Top 50. Criteria were not based on sales, but on customer service and satisfaction, employee training and education, and sound planning and initiatives. This year, five times as many applicants had to be cut than in 2008, which made it a difficult process for the judges, according to Goldenberg.
"There was a lot of discussion and debate," he said. "It was really hard for the judges to narrow it down, so those dealers who made it in should be particularly proud of this accomplishment."
The 50 finalists collectively generated approximately $1.6 billion in sales last year and have received hundreds of awards from manufacturers and their local communities. Of the 50 dealers selected, the top 10 were additionally honored as Blue Ribbon dealers, including Topper's Camping Center in Waller.
"Mr. Huckabee's appearance and speech were well-received by all those who attended, no matter their political persuasion. He helped make our evening even more notable," Goldenberg said. "He was very supportive of our program and what we're trying to accomplish for the good of those working in the industry, the RVing community and the RVing lifestyle as a whole."