The following is report from the Finger Lakes Times.
The new Wilkins RV project on New York’s Route 318, just off the Thruway, is nearing completion, and owner Brian Wilkins is eyeing an early March opening date.
New York State Electric & Gas turned on the power to the facility last week, which Wilkins said “certainly unleashed a lot of projects,” and general contractor Chrisanntha Construction of Gorham is optimistic a certificate of occupancy is attainable by the end of February.
“They think we can still pull it off,” said Wilkins, who is hoping for a March 8 grand opening ceremony and weekend public opening.
Construction on the $12.4 million project started in December 2022. The new facility, on 35 acres, features a 16-bay service department and 10,000-square-foot showroom.
It’s a project that was born of the need for a larger facility to replace the chain’s Victor location, and one that took a few detours along the way. Wilkins originally considered expanding in Victor but said that site presented too many challenges: a landlocked location, wetlands issue and a busy Route 96 roadway that made it difficult for RVs to access easily.
The Bath-based company first proposed building its RV sales and service facility on Route 414 in Tyre, across from del Lago Resort & Casino. However, Wilkins said difficulty in running utilities to that site prompted the decision to build on the Route 318 site purchased from Upstate NY Property Development. Plus, that location offered another great advantage.
“For our business to have direct Thruway visibility – it’s just a great billboard, it’s a great advertisement,” he said, adding that being just a half mile from the Thruway exit is another bonus. “There’s an adage in the RV business: If you move to a Thruway site, you’ll double your business in 3 to 5 years.”
The Victor facility, which will close once the move to Junius is ready, has 25-30 employees (based on seasonality); however, not all will be relocating, so the company will have an immediate need for salespeople, technicians and detailers, Wilkins said. He’s hopeful that within 12-24 months the new location will employ 35-40 people, and he believes the new state-of-the-art building will attract high-level workers.
“It’s a great place for people to work,” Wilkins said. “There are 45-by-25-wide bays, heated floors, and great lighting.”
Read the full Finger Lakes Times report here.