Jim Gorrie and Kevin Betzold jointly win the prestigious 2018 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year award
Jim Gorrie and Kevin Betzold of GNR Camping World RV Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba were jointly presented with the prestigious 2018 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award at the RVDA of Canada’s Annual Meeting held at the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, NV.
Being the first time that the award has been awarded jointly, the 2 dealer principals (and brothers-in-law) of GNR Camping World RV Centre, were both moved and surprised to have received this honour in tandem. Melanie Taylor, from RV Lifestyle Magazine, presented the pair with the Walter Paseska Memorial Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.
“Thank you very much for this great honour,” stated Kevin Betzold. “Our father-in-law, Gil Robert, started the dealership in the early 1970s. His motto was always to create a unique and memorable camping experience. We strive to carry on that motto and ensure that we provide complete customer satisfaction and are totally committed to enhancing RV lifestyles.”
“RVing is a lifestyle and a true family experience. We are a family business and our family focus is front and center at the dealership,” noted Jim Gorrie. In fact, Gil Robert was himself recipient of the 1992 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.
Each year, the RVDA of Canada, in conjunction with RV Lifestyle Magazine and Dealer News, invites nominations from across Canada for the Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award. The award is dedicated to the memory of the late Walt Paseska, founder of Walt's Trailer Sales in Headingley, Manitoba, in recognition of his many years of commitment and dedication to the RV industry. Since established in 1989 by Camping Canada Magazine, this award has been presented to individuals who share Walt's enthusiasm and commitment, in recognition of their long-term contribution to the RV lifestyle and commitment to the community as a whole.
The award is presented to a candidate who has:
- Demonstrated long-term dedication to the RV industry and promotion of the RV lifestyle by the acting dealer principal of a recognized full service RV dealership
- Shown commitment and participation in the RVDA at the provincial or national level;
- Been recognized by customers and peers as a person with the highest integrity and credibility in both work and personal life, and
- Made a contribution to their community.
GNR Camping World RV Centre was formed in 1971 when a small RV service centre, then called GNR Sportsland Centre Ltd., was established by Jim and Kevin’s father-in-law, Gil Robert, Gil’s cousin, Noel Painchaud, and his brother Rheal Robert. The dealership experienced its first expansion in 1973 when it moved from the St. Boniface location to a 4,000 square foot building on Dugald Road, where it still stands today. The name of the company was changed to GNR Camping World in the mid 1970s. Since the initial expansion, the company has gone through an additional four expansions and now occupies a 21,500 square foot building on 11 acres of land and employs a staff of 40 people. Along with an industry partner, GNR Camping World RV Centre expanded their company in 2009, to include the purchase of Recreation World RV in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Jim Gorrie has been in the RV industry for 29 years and Kevin Betzold has been in the RV industry for the past 24 years. In 2001, they bought shares in the company and are now co-owners of GNR Camping World RV Centre.
Both Jim and Kevin have been dedicated members of the RVDA for many years and have proven their commitment to the industry time and time again. Both have served on the Provincial RVDA of Manitoba Board of Directors as Vice-President and President. Jim is currently serving on the RVDA of Canada Board as Director and is also serving as Chair of Go RVing Canada. Kevin has also served on the RVDA of Canada Board for 7 years and was the President from 2007-2008.
GNR has been the recipient of numerous awards, having been awarded numerous Consumer Choice Awards; the PME Award (a Canadian award presented to small and medium sized enterprises) for 2007; St. Boniface Chamber of Commerce Dealer of the Year Award for 2008.
GNR has been supporting both the Children’s Wish and the Dream Factory in helping sick kids and their families get a break from the child’s illness. GNR is very involved in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg by annually supporting many events. They are also longtime supporters of the St. Amant Centre, a comprehensive resource for Manitobans with developmental disabilities and autism. GNR Camping World RV Centre also donates the use of their 3 Community Events Trailer for events in and around Winnipeg such as the Manitoba Marathon and Festival du Voyageur.
Jim and Kevin are regarded by customers and peers as people of high integrity and credibility in both their work and personal life.
Along with our winners, the nominees for this year’s Award were:
- Al Robinson, Great Canadian RV, Peterborough, ON
- Eric Soulière, VR Soulière, Lanoraie, QC
- Keith Stapleton, Gimme Shelter, Mono, ON
- Collin Yaretz, South Thompson RV, Kamloops, BC
Congratulations to Jim and Kevin and to all nominees, who have made outstanding contributions to the RV industry!