September '14

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88 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2014 rv-pro.com S outh Florida is considered to be a very competitive market for RV sales and rentals, but Walt Williams, owner of Suncoast RV Rental and Management, has learned not to worry about the competition. In the Tampa area where his busi- ness is based, local RV dealers don't rent motorhomes and actually refer business to him, according to Williams. And while national rental chain Cruise America has a presence there that undercuts his business on price, he says they can't match him on quality and service. "I really don't consider them as a direct competitor," Williams says. "They have really bare-bones, no amenities, smaller coaches. All of our coaches have slide- outs and awnings, where Cruise America's doesn't. So they are cheaper than us, but it's a different product." Plus, Cruise America RVs are pasted over with the company logo – instantly identifying its customers as renters. "People don't want to stand out; they want to blend in," Williams says. "When people go to a campground in one of our vehicles, no one knows whether they own it or rent it. ey're not rolling billboards." Offering a High-Quality Fleet Williams typically rents a fleet of about 20 motorhomes, four of which he owns outright and the rest of which he manages for private owners. Managing a hybrid fleet that's primarily owned by RVers works out well for his business, Williams says, as it Suncoast Shines in Florida Rentals Market e Tampa-based rentals operation thrives by catering to customers and offering extras most other rental businesses won't. By Al Lewis PHOTOS BY BOB THOMPSON / THOMPSON STUDIOS

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