After pandemic led to boom in sales, Southington RV dealer looks to expand



reporter photo

SOUTHINGTON — Hemlock Hill RV is looking to expand its Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike location with a 30,000 square foot building.

The RV dealer has a 17-acre site at 2123 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. Increased sales since the start of the pandemic prompted a need for more room, according company officials.

“We just need to expand because we’re so busy,” said Michelle Andro, Hemlock Hill marketing head. “The RV business with the pandemic got a boom… There’s a lot of first time buyers out there.”

Town approval

Plans submitted to the town show more than a dozen service bays, offices and a parts counter in the proposed building.

Hemlock Hill’s request, submitted by Borghesi Building and Engineering Co., was on the agenda for the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday. Commission chairman Robert Hammersley said there were still “a number of items” that town officials were waiting to receive. The commission tabled the request for a special permit and a floodplain filling application.

Support for RV owners

Andro said the Southington location is ideal since it’s just off Interstate 84 at exit 28 and about an hour from almost anywhere in the state. She said the company prioritizes support and service, particularly for first-time buyers that aren’t yet familiar with RV’s. Buyers take an hour-long training course on the model of RV they’re purchasing since there’s plenty to learn.

“It’s like a second vacation home,” Andro said, describing an RV.

She said that support was what set Hemlock Hill, a family-owned company, apart from some other dealers.

“Some of the things we’re seeing is that some of the big box retailers have come into the market and people who are price sensitive might shop them but they don’t get any of the support, the parts, the warrantee department,” Andro said. “Sometimes first time buyers might have a negative experience if they go to a big box.”

Andro’s brothers Chris Andro and Jason Andro are co-owners of the business.

Building up the turnpike

Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike is attracting development as other areas of town fill up according to local property owner Marty DiVito. He owns land across the street from Hemlock Hill and for a short time allowed the owners to park RV’s on his property.

DiVito operates a food truck from his property during the summer months and the RV company owners are frequent customers.

“They’re hard workers,” he said. “That whole crew, they come over two, three times a week.”

DiVito said he knew that the company needed more room and has been doing great business over the past few years.

jbuchanan@record-journal.com203-317-2230Twitter: @JBuchananRJ



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