A new name in RVs and trailers has rolled into Rochester to help people get out of town and on the road.
Fridley-based Hilltop Trailer Sales opened a dealership near the Rochester International Airport on June 1. This is the first time the 61-year-old Hilltop has ever opened a second location, says general sales manager Mike Pearo.
"This is a great opportunity for us," he says. "We've looked at the Rochester market as a good spot to expand for a long time. We're really excited about this."
When Curtis Letsche of Rochester's long-time Curtis Camper Sales recently decided it was time to retire, it opened a door for Hilltop. It is now operating at the former Curtis location at 7050 11th Ave. S.W.
Hilltop sells new Jayco towable RVs, used recreation vehicles, parts and offers full service for trailers and RVs.
Also like Curtis Camper Sales, Hilltop is a family-owned business that was started by his grandfather in 1951. Now in its third generation, Hilltop is owned and operated by Pearo, his two brothers and their father.
The dealership has six on staff but plans to bring the Rochester team up to 10 to 12 employees.
An upgrade of the facilities is also in the works, though that is on the back burner until camper season is over.
Hilltop is not the only RV dealer that saw an opportunity in the Med City. Noble RV, of Owatonna, recently opened its own location between Rochester and Stewartville.
That puts Hilltop's new project very near Noble's brand new dealership. Is there enough recreational vehicle business to go around?
"I think it is a big enough market definitely with room for both us," says Pearo. "Competition is good. They are a good dealer and a good group of people. I think it will a benefit for Rochester and the people of southern Minnesota area to have two additions like Hilltop and Noble there."