A 40-acre recreational vehicle and marine dealership is being carved into the Lockwood landscape southeast of Interstate 90 and Johnson Lane.
Bretz RV and Marine started construction in early August and expects to go through winter as the family business expands its inventory and customer service area. Bretz will have the largest recreational vehicle dealership for several hundred miles in any direction.
“Part of our growth here in Billings is a commitment to our customers, to be able to continue to serve them,” said Dustin Bretz. “A large portion of this building will be dedicated to customer service after the fact.”
The economy is improving and interest in recreational vehicles is picking up, Bretz said.
The new site is located in the 2800 block of Old Hardin Road and borders Interstate 90 to the north close to where the freeway converges with U.S. Interstate 94. Bretz said the bypass with U.S. 94 made the location ideal.
The business will be anchored by a 35,000-square-foot service building, complete with painting rooms big enough to accommodate large recreational vehicles. Bretz likened the state-of-the-art painting rooms to the facilities used for painting Corvettes.
Bretz’s on-site storage will also be made available for the newly purchased RVs.
With the bigger location will also come a larger workforce. Bretz plans to hire 40 to 60 new employees once the facility opens next spring. The type of new jobs at the business will run the gamut, but they won’t be minimum wage and several will be technical.
It takes more than a mechanic to work on a recreational vehicle, Bretz said. Service workers need to understand everything from plumbing and wiring to heating and air conditioning to service a recreational vehicle. Some of the company’s best technicians have mining and agricultural backgrounds.
To attract skilled employees, Bretz will offer on-site child care at the new facility.
“With the world of employee benefits changing so much, this is a good direction to go,” Bretz said of on-site child care.
Currently, Bretz RV and Marine is located at 2220 Old Hardin Road. The company is already hearing from businesses interested in the location when Bretz relocates. The company also has locations in Missoula and Boise, Idaho.