Butler County RV retailer plans new facility

A Butler County RV retailer plans to expand its business and has received a tax abatement from the county to construct a larger site in a nearby community.

Jeff Couch’s RV Nation, which was established in 2005 at 2122 Hamilton Eaton Road in New Miami, houses inventory at three separate locations, which causes inefficiency and higher costs in inventory management, according to Mike Dalton, chief financial officer.

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With revenue growth decreasing year after year as the company has lacked the physical space to continue growth, Couch is working with the city of Trenton to purchase 38 acres at Trenton Industrial Park, 5555 Kennel Road, east of the U.S. Army Reserve Center and MillerCoors Trenton Brewery.

Butler County commissioners voted late last month to grant Jeff Couch’s RV Nation a 60 percent abatement on the taxes for the new facility to ensure it can successfully continue its business model.

The tax break is based on retention of an existing company to Butler County, creation of 24 new positions with an average salary of $62,500, “considerable competition” from other potential investment locations and the company’s location as its corporate headquarters, according to the commissioners.

“He’s been a longtime business owner and operator in Butler County and … he’s one of the largest dealers across the country selling those manufactured campers,” said Butler County Commissioner Don Dixon. “Job retention is just as important as new business, so it just made sense to do the abatement.”

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The property acquisition is expected to be finalized by the middle of the month and the business should relocate there by August 2018, according to Dalton.

“Having all of our operations under one roof is going to make our inventory management, unit prep and service work far more efficient,” he said.

That would mean the construction of a 42,000-square-foot facility in Trenton with approximately 10,000 square feet of finished office space, parts and service with the remainder of the facility dedicated to inventory preparation and warranty work, Dalton said.

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Total investment in the new facility, including land, building and furniture, fixtures and equipment, will be $5.5 million. The company, which employs 35 people, will add 24 jobs — eight each year starting from when the facility opens next year, Dalton said.

Couch, who started his career in the industry in his father’s dealership, worked his way up through its ranks to become general manager. Couch departed that business in 2005 to start his own under his own business model, leading him to become the second largest individual facility in the country, he said.

Instead of relying on the traditional retail sales model, Jeff Couch’s RV Nation takes more of an Internet-distributor approach with revenues driven by personnel developing qualified leads from website visits that are then followed up on by sales people, Dalton said.

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That has led to the company’s distribution of revenue being not only among residents of Butler County and all of Ohio, but also the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, as well.

“We do about 6 percent of our business from customers inside Butler County,” he said. “We’re doing 94 percent of our business outside the county. We are a true wholesaler so we have people who drive from Texas and California to buy units from us because of our wholesale pricing.”

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