Forest River 6th Annual West Coast Open House

by Wendy on August 15, 2016


Forest River Inc. personnel are busy making final preparations for the 6th Annual West Coast Dealer Open House slated for Aug. 23-24 at the company’s 16-acre manufacturing facility in Harrisburg, Ore.

The company will be displaying its full complement of 2017 towables built by Forest River’s West Coast operations located in Harrisburg and Dallas, Ore., and Hemet and Rialto, Calif., along with a number of other towables and motorhomes produced by Indiana-based facilities.

“We will have over 100 units on display representing over 30 different brand names, all featuring new floorplans and colors as well as new features and enhancements,” said Steve Roitstein, sales manager for the two Oregon plants, adding that dealers would find out further details on what’s new for 2017 at the event itself.

The open house takes place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, although Forest River personnel will be on hand until the last dealer leaves each day.

“It’s a great place for Forest River to build a closer relationship with our West Coast dealer network, and we do this by showcasing new products and features, interacting with our plants, and with both giving and receiving constructive ideas with parts, service and warranty,” Roitstein said.

Roitstein reported there will be two new elements at this year’s West Coast Open House, including having representatives from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) on site to talk to dealers about the organization’s Technicians in Training (TnT) program. In addition, representatives of several major lenders in the RV financing industry would be on hand to discuss their services with dealers.

While the focus will be on conducting business with the 150 to 200 dealer personnel, the event also features catered lunches and dinners both days and a casual atmosphere – a scenario reminiscent of the larger Elkhart County RV Open House slated for Sept. 19-22.

“To me, our No. 1 objective is really building good dealer relationships and thanking them for their business over the past year, and getting good product feedback from our dealers on where we can improve,” said Paul Eskritt, a former Fleetwood executive who is now general manager of the two Oregon plants. “It’s a great place to get everybody together and to get a lot of that feedback on both product and business, and also build relationships with them. We need to tell them thank you and how important they are to us. Writing orders is obviously a big priority, but I would say that would come in a close second.”

Ty Miller, general manager of the two California plants, echoed those comments, saying the relationships with its dealer base is essential in helping Forest River deliver a product the market is demanding.

“One of the things about the expo is we get to sit down in front of our dealers who can tell us what their customers are telling them about product; about what they want and what they need, and what they don’t want and don’t need,” Miller said. “They can pass that information along to us and we can adjust as need be to find those items their customers are asking about. Electronics are a big item right now, so we can go back to our vendors and look for those electronics and include them in the various products.”

Mark McFadden, sales manager for the two California plants, pointed out that, for those dealers going to both events, the West Coast Open House offers a “jumpstart on the Indiana Open House.”

“If they are looking to pick up additional brands or products, they will be able to see things first and be able to take some things off the market before the product is shown in Indiana,” McFadden said.

Dale Weins, plant manager for the Harrisburg facility, said it would take about a week for the entire crew to ready the plant for the open house and then prepare motorized and towable product coming in from plants in Oregon, California and Indiana.

“We literally get the entire plant involved,” Weins mentioned. “Everything is washed and staged and set up. We’ll get power to as many units as we can and stage the interiors and exteriors to make it a full-blown show. Last year was our first year at it; I think we did a pretty good job of it and we look forward to making it bigger this year.”


To read the original article, go to Forest River Eyeing 6th West Coast Open House


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