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Good Sam, Lazydays Battle in Seffner, Fla., Location

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June 12, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

Marcus Lemonis

The Lazydays RV SuperCenter could soon have a new archrival — inside its own complex in Seffner, Fla.

The Camping World retail store that sits within the broader Lazydays campus plans to start selling RVs, trailers and other major equipment in direct competition with Lazydays, after a bitter legal dispute between the two, The Tampa Tribune reported.

"We'll have everything they sell, but for less," said Marcus Lemonis, who owns the Camping World chain of 90 stores, plus the Camping World RV sales chain as well as the Dusty's RV and Good Sam RV membership club.

The new operation could be up and running within a few weeks, Lemonis said, adding that he can bring more RVs from other dealerships he controls across Florida.

The change adds to the long-running legal drama surrounding Lazydays.

Camping World opened a 20,000-square-foot retail store inside the Lazydays compound in 1995, and it remained the best-performing store in the chain until recently.

Lazydays founder Don Wallace sold the RV dealership in 2006, but Wallace still owns and controls the land underneath as landlord.

Wallace and current owners of the dealership remain in a long-running legal dispute, while the dealership has changed hands several times and filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The Wayzata Investment Partners private equity firm now owns the dealership.

Meanwhile, Camping World officials claim that a longstanding contract requires Lazydays to buy its RV parts and maintenance supplies from Camping World, though Lemonis says Lazydays started buying its supplies elsewhere.

"Don and I always had a good relationship," Lemonis said. "The nature of the Lazydays business now is dramatically different. I'm not going to mess around with these turkeys anymore."

Lazydays officials tell a different story.

An illustrative overview of the sprawling Lazydays complex in Seffner, Fla.

They claim that a series of arrangements with Camping World prohibited Camping World from selling RVs within 50 miles of Tampa, yet several months ago, companies Lemonis controls rebranded an RV supply store 42 miles away in Bartow called Dusty's Camper World into a Camping World RV store and started selling new and used RVs.

"All these arrangements were made in a different world, back in 1995, when they sold RV accessories and Lazydays sold RVs, and those arrangements made sense," said Randy Lay, chief financial officer of Lazydays. "Now we're direct competitors."

In turn, Lazydays filed suit against Camping World in Tampa.

"At the end of the day, we'd like to see a resolution," Lay said, "because clearly these arrangements are not working for either party."

Good Sam Enterprises is the parent company of Woodall's Campground Management and www.woodallscm.com.

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