By Dale Quinn
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
May 3, 2011
Lazydays, a Tampa, Fla.-based recreational vehicle company, has acquired the property in Tucson once owned and occupied by Beaudry RV.
Lazydays paid $9.55 million for the RV campground, sales and service center previously operated by the prominent Tucson RV dealer near Interstate 10 and East Irvington Road.
The Florida company, founded in 1976, plans to open the campground and service facilities in midsummer and then sell RVs there a short time later, said Thom VanderKlipp, its director of marketing.
“We were looking at expanding the operation west of the Mississippi, and Arizona made a lot of sense as a strategic location,” VanderKlipp said.
Having completed the purchase, Lazydays is now obtaining the necessary business permits to operate in Tucson.
The company bought the property from a liquidating trustee appointed last year by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Marlar.
In November 2008, Beaudry filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize its debts and had gone so far as to have its emergence plan approved by the court. But when it was announced last September that a group of investors had purchased Beaudry’s properties and operations in Tucson and Chandler, that quickly changed.
Attorneys for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Comerica Bank – creditors in the bankruptcy – filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court saying the sale violated loan documents and forced Beaudry’s real estate into default.
The creditors asked for the immediate appointment of a liquidating trustee, who would have sole authority over the company’s real estate collateral.
Marlar appointed Robert Burnand of Colliers International as the liquidating trustee for Beaudry’s real estate collateral, giving him exclusive possession and control of Beaudry’s real and personal property.
About that time, Beaudry abruptly ceased its operations and laid off all its employees. Many RV owners, who had left vehicles with the company for repairs or storage, were left in limbo as they realized their property was behind locked gates and there were no longer any Beaudry employees who could help them.
Burnand said all of those individuals were able to get their vehicles back once the court gave him permission to release their property.
Rob Glaser, an industrial specialist with PICOR Commercial Real Estate Services, was then enlisted to sell the Beaudry real estate.
Lazydays purchased only Beaudry’s Tucson properties, VanderKlipp said. Its Chandler property was on leased land that went back to its owner.
So far, Lazydays doesn’t have immediate plans for further expansion in Arizona, he said. Tucson, with its winter residents and a population about the same size as Tampa, proved a good fit for the company.
Even with climbing gas prices, VanderKlipp said the company feels it’s the right time to grow.
The tightening credit market has a greater impact on the RV market than gas prices do, he said, and with the economy improving lenders are loosening up a bit.
New jobs on way
With its first Arizona location opening soon, Lazydays has plans for hiring. To apply for a job go to www.lazydaystucson.com and click “careers.”
Contact reporter Dale Quinn at [email protected] or 573-4197