Southern Utah Tourism Receives Unexpected Benefits After Camping World Acquires Nielson RV
March 10, 2021
Nielson moves from Camping to Glamping with an Elim Valley Flagship Location for an Innovative, New RV Resort Chain
Scott Nielson, Principal and owner of Southern Utah’s Nielson RV, announced the sale of its three locations, including assets, inventory, land, and improvements, to Camping World Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CWH) through its CEO, Marcus Lemonis. Camping World is the largest RV retailer and publicly RV-traded company in the US.
Acquiring Nielson RV, the area’s number one RV dealer adds to Camping World’s already 170+ store count and expands its presence in Southern Utah. The selling price is undisclosed. However, Nielson RV has historically generated $50 million in annual revenue, and the Camping World deal included $64 million in inventory, land, and equipment, extending to retail locations and storage facilities in St. George and Hurricane.
Top-ranked RV retailer
Nielson RV is a homegrown Southern Utah operation, dating back to 1997 when Scott Nielson began his career selling cars and RVs out of Bob’s Enterprise’s on N. State Street in Hurricane while attending college at Southern Utah University. Teaming up with his brother, Mike Nielson they incorporated Hurricane Valley Auto Mall in 1997 before focusing exclusively on the RV operations and changing the name to Nielson RV in 2006. Ten years later, Nielson RV expanded with a prime I-15 corridor St. George location on 341 East Sunland Drive. Both retail outlets were constructed by Nielson Development, another Nielson-owned startup in Washington County.
According to Statistical Surveys, Nielson RV is number one for RV sales in Southern Utah year after year and has ranked as high as number four throughout the state.
“Outselling most of the bigger dealers in Salt Lake City has been a major feat since the population in Salt Lake City compared to Washington County is so much greater,” Scott Nielson commented. He further adds that the credit goes to his manager, employees, and the tight-knit Southern Utah community.
It wasn’t Nielson RV’s sales that generated publicity in 2017, though. Instead, it was a newsworthy 80’ x 60’ flag, waving 150 feet above the St. George dealership. The height is five times higher than the ambiguous city ordinance permits, leading to the Southern Utah “flag controversy,” and further cementing Nielson RV’s positive reputation in the community.
Beyond the Nielson RV dealership doors
Over the years, Scott Nielson and Mike Nielson have launched other Southern Utah-based startups. In 2015, Mike Nielson turned his attention to SKRE, while Scott Nielson continued to expand Nielson RV and other ventures.
SKRE – https://skregear.com – a hunting clothing apparel line sold in several countries throughout the world
Nielson Power Systems – RV onboard generators with a Yamaha engine and inverter technology
KSKO Investments LLC – Real estate holding company
Nielson Development – residential and commercial construction development
Nielson Power Systems (NPS) is an RV onboard generator company. The generators use cutting-edge technology with a built-in pull start and remote start key fob with a 50-yard range. Scott Nielson intended for NPS to be a market disruptor, as Cummins had previously monopolized the industry. Nielson achieved his mission when NPS Yamaha signed an exclusive deal with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s Forest River.
Local tourism benefits from a new resort project
Mr. Nielson might have turned over the RV sales reins to Camping World, but he’s focusing his passion and knowledge in a new RV-driven direction. Instead of encouraging customers to take it on the road, Nielson provides a new reason for RV road warriors to spend some time in Southern Utah with the launch of the first “Glampers Inn” under RSC (Red-Sand Capital) a new private equity company.
In collaboration with Marco Martinez, a consultant, and author who has literally written the book on RVs with How to Run an RV Dealership: 22 Best Kept Secrets to Help You Run Your Dealership, the inaugural Glampers Inn project is already underway at Sand Hollow. Glampers Inn is designed as an RV resort, providing travelers with a VIP-focused destination.
The appeal of Glampers Inn
Glampers Inn amenities will extend well beyond water and electric hookups.
- Water park
- Pools and hot tubs
- Lazy river
- Boat rentals
- Buggy rentals
- High-speed internet
- Cabin rentals
Sand Hollow is an idyllic location for the first resort, just a 30-minute drive from Zion National Park or the Arizona border. Instead of just passing through, vacationers have another reason to spend some time in Southern Utah, leading to increased tourism revenue. An RV isn’t required to take advantage of Glampers Inn, as it will also feature 25 cabin rentals. Guests can also take advantage of nearby amenities that put them on the water, the sand, the mountains, or one of a dozen nearby golf courses.
Southern Utah startups
Over the years, Scott Nielson has benefited the Southern Utah community with Nielson RV, Nielson Development, and other startups. Along with Nielson-owned ventures, several startups have chosen Washington County as their home base.
- Stephen Wade Automotive Group
- Cafe Rio
- The Ram Corporation
- Squatty Potty
- SkyWest Airlines
Scott Nielson’s new Glampers Inn project will provide another shot in the arm for the local economy, attracting new visitors and increasing tourism revenue.
About Camping World Holdings, Inc. – Camping World has been providing products and services to RV owners and campers since 1966. There are currently more than 170 Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoor SuperCenters across the United States, in addition to a full product website. Camping World’s CEO Marcus Lemonis is a businessman, philanthropist, and television personality with starring roles in CNBC’s The Profit and The Partner.
About Nielson RV – Nielson RV started as the Hurricane Valley Auto Mall, Inc., owned and operated by brothers Scott Nielson and Mike Nielson. In 2004 Scott bought Mike’s remaining shares and redirected the company In 2006 to focus on RVs which prompted the name change, and Nielson RV became one of the top-performing dealerships in the country based on real estate size and revenues. Camping World Holdings, Inc. recently acquired Nielson RV, including all of its assets and inventory. The exact purchase price was not disclosed. Scott Nielson signed a Non-compete with Camping world for a period of five years.
About Glampers Inn – Glampers Inn is funded by Red-Sand Capital (RSC) and designed to be a first of its kind RV resort with a Ranger Station style clubhouse, water slides, lazy river, boat, and buggy rentals. Its flagship location is already approved by the Hurricane City Council and will be located near Sand Hollow State Park. Future expansion plans include Glampers Inn RV resorts throughout the Midwest and West coast.