Hy-Line Founders Back in Business Under New Name
In what amounts to a homecoming of sorts, the original owners of Hy-Line Enterprises Inc. repurchased the small Elkhart, Ind., towable RV and park model builder in December and by mid-April were building a unit a day with a number of their original production staff members.
“Most of them (production workers) had worked for us a long time ago,” said Secretary-Treasurer Randy Hoff, who, along with President Peggy Flager and Production Chief Charles Ragland, purchased the assets of what most recently had been named Hy-Line Enterprises Holdings LLC from Evolve Capital, a private equity venture firm based in Dallas, Texas, to whom they had sold the firm in May of 2006.
The new company — H L Enterprise Inc. — is focusing on building Hy-Line and Willow Creek park models (Georgian Bay in Canada) while assembling a few Hy-Line travel trailers and fifth-wheels. “We are doing a good portion of our business in Canada,” Hoff told Woodall’s Campground Management, noting that Evolve Capital had shuttered production at the company’s 35,000-square-foot plant in September.
”We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get going again,” Hoff said. ”We are rebuilding relationships with our dealer base and our past customers. Suppliers have been gun-shy because the other company stuck a lot of them. It’s just fortunate that we had a very good history with suppliers.”
The new ownership group bought back machinery and equipment along with units that were partially built.
Hy-Line and Willow Creek park models are built in 32- to 42-foot lengths and are 8 feet wide with 96-inch ceilings. Willow Creek features standard floorplans while Hy-Line park trailers are ”more flexible,” according to Flager, and are equipped with Corian countertops, thermopane patio doors, cherry-wood cabinet and tinted windows. Willow Creek MSRPs start at $25,300, while Hy-Line’s retail price starts at about $30,000.
Since December, H L Enterprise has sold four park models to Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort in Santa Claus, Ind., a large resort where the company has an exclusive contract.
”We are soliciting new dealers and trying to get back some of the old dealers,” Hoff said.
Prior to the sale to Evolve, the company was producing four units a day.
”We’ve got to get to at least two or three units a day,” Hoff said. ”We’re not going to go anywhere at one a day.”