By Holly Hammersmith | Photos by Doug Khrenovsky
This is the first time Neff Brothers RV, a Lorain-based company, has rented out this many of their units at one time, Angela Dudziak, general manager and owner of Neff Brothers RV, says.
“This will be the largest one-time-shot delivery we have done since we started the business, bringing 17 units on one day and pulling them out a week later,” Dudziak says.
Generators will provide electricity to the RVs, which will be placed in an open parking lot. Neff Brothers RV has also partnered with a septic company to remove waste from the RVs. Four to five people will stay in each RV, housing about 80 to 85 people total, she says.
Some travel trailers are being rented along with Class C motor homes, which are more spacious. A few luxury units are also being used.
“We are pretty much giving them a variety. Our units are all fully loaded. They come with televisions, DVD players, iPod docks, full kitchens, double-door refrigerators, and, on the luxury units, king-size beds. We don’t skimp on the type of rental units we have,” Dudziak says. “Ours are not a box on wheels, they are houses on wheels.”
The units will be on site from July 14 through July 22. When the opportunity arose to work in partnership with a RNC vendor, Dudziak says she checked with her team immediately to ensure availability.
“This is going to be a big undertaking. We are going to use everyone in house. All my drivers are on board already and they are ready to go for the whole day,” she says.
Staff from Blue Star Productions will be living in the units. Some entertainment artists for the RNC will also use the units as a “green room,” Dudziak says. Names of specific artists have not been released for privacy purposes and to avoid hype, which is common among clients, she adds.
Local caterer Ed Ripepi, who is providing food in conjunction with the production company, contacted Dudziak in November to see if Neff Brothers RV would be able to help with the unique request. This is their first time working together.
“I love the idea of working with a family business, and he loved the idea of working with a family business,” she says.
Neff Brothers RV has been family-owned and operated since 1998 and employs 15 full-time employees and a handful of seasonal workers during peak season. They just celebrated the one-year anniversary of purchasing their own building. Their 32,000-square-foot building houses a service department, RV parts superstore and rental department. The building sits on five acres of land.
Roughly half of their clients are vacationers. Another 30 percent of their business comes from special events such as the RNC and the remaining 10 percent of their business comes from commercial film shoots.
In the past they have rented RVs to Supernanny, Restaurant Impossible, Chef Gordon Ramsey, President George W. Bush, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dudziak says.
Their biggest annual rental event is the All American Quarter Horse Congress every October. They rent for other festivals and events, creating a makeshift campground in parking facilities. Renting a RV allows a customer to be on location at an event they are attending, offering convenience and helps them to avoid the hassle of a rental car.
The entire Neff Brothers RV fleet consists of 30 units.
“I had to keep some out for regular vacationers. I couldn’t send everything to the RNC. I have regulars that rent from us every year religiously and I would not have done that to our loyal guests,” Dudziak says.
As they are for any client, all of the units being used for the RNC will receive a full cleaning prior to use and full cleaning after. One RV technician will be dedicated to the RNC units in case any questions or issues with operation arise. That individual will be on call 24/7, she adds.
Dudziak is a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses alumna, having completed the program on behalf of Neff Brothers RV. Prior to working for the RV rental company, Dudziak was striving toward a career in sports administration.
“I was going nowhere toward being an entrepreneur,” she says. “Once I dipped my toe into running a business, I fell in love with it. Once I became part owner here I knew I needed to know more.”
Being a female in what is primarily a male-dominated industry keeps her on her toes, as does her passion to help grow business in the City of Lorain.
“You’ve got to work on the business constantly, especially as a woman, and be in contact with other women and other businesses, because that’s how you learn by sharing your stories and learning from each other, especially with small businesses,” she says.
For more information: neffbrosrv.com