Thursday, May 23, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
September 11, 2012
RICKREALL -- On The Way RV will shutter the doors of its lot at 665 S. Pacific Highway for good on Saturday.
Jerry Fry, who co-owns the business with Charleen McClure, said the recreational vehicle business has taken a hit with the economic downturn.
"We thought this summer that things would get better, that the industry was moving forward," he said. "And by the end of August, we could see that the upturn wasn't happening ... we thought `why struggle through another winter and not be able to pay bills?'"
Financing for customers, high gas prices and commercial credit for inventory have become challenges in the last few years, Fry said.
On The Way sold 285 RVs in 2006; that sales total was perhaps a dozen in 2011, he said. The workforce, meanwhile, has shrunk over the years from 20 to two full-time employees.
Fry, who's been involved in RV sales for more than 20 years in Oregon and Washington, started his company off Rickreall Road in 2000. In 2005, he purchased his current lot across from the Polk County Fairgrounds. His dealership carried Forest River and Palomino brand products.
"We want to say `thank you' to all of our customers, we've had them out of Dallas, Roseburg, Eugene, Longview, Wash., all along the coast," Fry said. "It's been marvelous working with them."