Friday, May 9, 2014

Camping World eyes development on Idaho Falls' west side

Camping World, a company that started in Bowling Green, Ky., in 1966, is proposing to develop 12 acres on Idaho Falls' west side that is presently designated for high-density residential development.

The city of Idaho Falls Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending a change in the comprehensive plan to allow commercial development south of Pancheri Drive on the west side of Interstate 15.

A representative from Zoke LLC, an Boise area company, appeared before the commission at its hearing Tuesday, seeking a change to the comprehensive plan, rezoning, annexation and platting. The matter goes before the Idaho Falls City Council in June. Several residents of the area appeared before the commission as well to voice their support, saying the west side needs more business development, City Planner Brad Cramer said.

Camping World began with a small store in Beech Bend Park, an amusement park outside Bowling Green that billed its campground as the world's largest. Campers at the park were requesting a store where they could buy supplies, so David Garvin, son of the park's owner, took out a loan and opened the store. Garvin amassed a large customer list as the years went by. In 1997, he sold the company to the current owners, Good Sam Enterprises of Ventura, Calif.

The company now has more than 100 retail and service locations throughout the United States, and also sells goods through mail order and online.