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Bill Fenech (left), co-owner of Grand Design RV, hands out T-shirts to employees during the celebration at the company Tuesday March 19, 2013. Grand Design RV celebrated its 100th unit, 100th day of operation and 100th employee being hired. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Grand Design RV celebrated a milestone day with lunch for its employees. The company celebrated its 100th day of operation, its 100th unit and the hiring of its 100th employee with an event for the media, suppliers and employees that included lunch, two units to see and interviews with company officials. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

The main living area of a Grand Designs RV Solitude model is shown in this Tuesday, March 19, 2013 photograph. The company celebrated its 100th unit, 100th day of operation and 100th employee being hired. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Don Clark talks to employees and suppliers of Grand Design RV, as well as assorted media Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Clark is a co-owner and president of Grand Design. The company celebrated its 100th day of operation, the hiring of its 100th employee and the production of its 100th unit on Tuesday. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Don Clark talks to employees and suppliers of Grand Design RV, as well as assorted media Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Clark is a co-owner and president of the company. At right is Bill Fenech, co-owner of Grand Design RV. The company celebrated its 100th day of operation, the hiring of its 100th employee and the production of its 100th unit on Tuesday. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Don Clark talks to employees and suppliers of Grand Design RV, as well as assorted media Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Clark is a co-owner and president of Grand Design. The company celebrated its 100th day of operation, the hiring of its 100th employee and the production of its 100th unit on Tuesday. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)
New RV company Grand Design marks milestones

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on March 19, 2013 at 3:57 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Grand Design RV, a recent start-up company, marked three “100” milestones Tuesday afternoon, March 19.

The company showed off their 100th employee, their 100th Solitude fifth-wheel trailer and their 100th day of shipping products to dealers.

“We’re celebrating today a bunch of hundreds,” said Don Clark, Grand Design president and co-owner, along with Bill Fenech and Ron Fenech.

They struck at a good time in the industry, too.

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association recently revised its projections for industry growth this year to 7.5 percent.

Clark said their Solitude luxury fifth-wheel, a so-called “extended stay” model, “has been really well received by the retail consumers.” In fact, he said, the company has stopped signing on new dealers until they can keep up with demand.

“The shows have been absolutely phenomenal. The product has been turning (selling), in some cases, before it hits the lot,” he said.

Bill Fenech said the way Grand Design focuses on products is what sets it apart. “The other companies out there, typically they’ll build many brands,” he said. That made sense before the recession, but now that many dealers went under, Grand Design is taking a different approach.

Clark said they’ve just now prototyped a second Solitude model, which will be in full production in mid-April. A third Solitude version will start weeks after that.

They’ll role out another brand, offering a mid-range fifth-wheel and a mid-range travel trailer, in July, Clark said. “It’s more for the family,” with bunkhouses and other family-friendly options, Clark said.

The company might have a third brand going by the RVIA show in Louisville toward the end of the year, Clark said, but it depends on the market.

It was at the 2012 show that Clark and the Fenech brothers announced Grand Design to an overflow crowd of dealers, who were generally pleased with what the trio described as their vision for the new company.