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Lazydays RV dealership becoming minitown

Published December 5, 2005

Founder Don Wallace called the 126-acre Lazydays RV SuperCenter on Interstate 4 east of Tampa "Florida's Newest Tourist Attraction" when it opened in 1996.

That may have sounded like typical commercial hype. But consider this: The massive dealership, with an on-site Cracker Barrel restaurant and Camping World for RVs and campers, now has a 75-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel as a neighbor.

Developer BayStar Hotel Group picked the location with the idea that Lazydays - which promotes itself as the largest single-site RV dealership anywhere - would provide a steady stream of business.

There are out-of-town owners bringing vehicles in for repairs, friends and family who come to visit them and people who fly in to shop at Lazydays. "We expect it to be a significant amount of business," says BayStar chief executive George Glover.

Of course, his business plan anticipated other attractions to bring in customers - the Ford Amphitheater, Seminole Hard Rock Casino and various baseball spring training camps.

But when the hotel opened Nov. 22, Glover was gratified to hear one of the first customers arrived in an RV headed for Lazydays to fix a broken water and sewer system.

[Last modified December 5, 2005, 03:00:29]

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