MARION — The dynamic duo of Rodney Cabaness and Shad Zimbro of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson have a new venture in Marion. Black Diamond RV Superstore opened in early April.
According to Cabaness, they had been working on starting the business for the past six months. They sold their first camper at the beginning of April, and that’s when they officially opened.
“We were looking for something to compliment the business we were already in,” Cabaness said. “Southern Illinois is a great place to do business, and we were looking for an opportunity to grow.”
He added that the RV industry is probably the fastest growing industry around after a period of slow growth.
Cabaness believes that part of the reason for that growth is that the industry provides something for families to do together and allows them to slow down and unplug.
Cabaness remembers camping with his dad. He did not realize until he was an adult how cool it was to be out camping and fishing with his dad. He, Zimbro and the Black Diamond team are glad to be able to provide that experience to others.
“We wanted to be a part of that. We felt like we could bring a great brand to Southern Illinois in Heartland RV and a great experience,” Cabaness said. “We felt like that was a win-win for everybody.”
Black Diamond RV Supercenter will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The business carries a large selection of new and pre-owned RVs, including trailers, fifth-wheels and toy haulers. Heartland is their premier brand.
The business also has on-site financing, service and parts departments. Cabaness said they want to develop long-term relationships with customers.
The business had a grand opening in April.
“It’s been overwhelming. We had no idea that so many of our customers already own or use RVs,” Cabaness said.
During the research phase of jumping into the RV business, Cabaness learned that thousands of camping sites are located within 20 miles of Marion.
“Now that we have moved around a little bit and have businesses in other states, we take for granted what Southern Illinois has to offer,” Cabaness said.
Other businesses also have noticed what Southern Illinois has to offer. In April, Camping World announced that it will be moving into the former Gander Mountain property in Marion and purchased adjoining acreage.
“It’s a big sand box, and there’s plenty of room for everybody to come in and play,” Cabaness said. “They are a great company as well. The hope is we will bring even more people to Southern Illinois than we could have ourselves and bring more money to local economy.”
Black Diamond RV Supercenter is located at 2405 Black Diamond Drive in Marion, north of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson.