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Nelsons no more: Long-standing local RV dealership changes name after acquisition


If you’ve driven down Chiden Blvd. in Garden City in recent weeks, you might have noticed a subtle change: the long-standing Nelsons RVs signs are gone. In their place, large blue signs went up.

While the change is highly visible, it’s really just a branding change for a buyout that happened several years ago.

In 2017, national retailer Camping World announced it would buy Nelson’s RVs in Garden City and Caldwell from the Nelson family. The Nelsons built and operated the business for over 33 years. Byron and Donna Nelson, Wilma and Roy Petersen and Karen and Tom Nelson started the business on Chinden in 1983, and say they sold about 27,000 recreational vehicles through the 2017 sale.

Camping World, a publicly-traded company based in Illinois, entered the Boise market in 2007 when it purchased Bodily RV and its locations in Meridian and Idaho Falls. The Nelson’s acquisition gave it five locations in the state, which include locations under its Gander RV brand, as well as Camping World and now

Camping World said in 2017 that it would keep the Nelsons name on the Garden City dealerships, but quickly rebrand the location in Caldwell.

Camping World is led by CEO Marcus Lemonis, the reality TV star of CNBC program The Profit.

The Nelson family still owns the real estate under the Garden City dealerships according to Ada County property records.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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