Welcome to the Quad-Cities -- QCQ&A
Progress 2010 Page


List of Advertisers

Enyeart sells RVs to people who are his friends
Comment on this story
More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood/jgreenwood@qconline.com
Tom and Vicky Enyeart are the owners of Shabbona Creek RV in Atkinson. The facility is a major RV service and sales operation.
Tom Enyeart's customers are his friends.

Mr. Enyeart and his wife, Vicky Enyeart, own and operate Shabbona Creek RV, located about one-and-a-half miles east of Atkinson on U.S. 6.

Like any business owner, Mr. Enyeart is interested in making a profit, but "it's also about the friendships," he said.

"What I found out back when I first started in business is that you don't need 1,000 new customers every year, what you need is 150 to 200 so you can take care of the needs of those customers."

He sold his first motor home in 1991, when he worked at the former Hutchcraft Buick RV in Cambridge "That was in the summer of 1991, and I built a relationship with that customer. Subsequently, I sold that customer five more RVs before he passed on. I became friends with his family members, and they are customers at Shabbona Creek."

In 1999, Mr. Enyeart made the decision to leave the Chevrolet/Buick business in Cambridge and sell only recreational vehicles. He said the business of selling recreational vehicles in the Cambridge location had grown every year, and he wanted to go into selling RVs full time.

"I love recreational vehicles and what they stand for," he said.

He bought 40 acres outside of Atkinson, and, in 2002, he began building his RV business there.

Shabbona Creek RV held its grand opening in January 2003. The company sells motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels, but the primary focus is motor homes. Shabbona Creek has grown to be the largest motor-home dealer in six Midwest states, Mr. Enyeart said, adding that prices of the vehicles range from $10,000 to $750,000.

The business employs 15 people, including family members. Mr. Enyeart's wife, Vicky, is the bookkeeper and is in charge of warranty administration. A daughter, April Brooks, is the parts-department manager, and another daughter, Cassie Dahl, helps out with business development. The Enyearts' son, Preston, is a college student who works as a technician during breaks from school.

The Enyeart family -- parents, children and grandchildren -- take many trips together, with each family in its own motor home. "Until the babies (grandchildren) came along, we took trips every Christmas, to a beach somewhere in America, somewhere warm. We always took a Christmas tree with us and placed it in the sand to celebrate Christmas wherever we were," Mr. Enyeart said. "We stopped doing that about three or four years ago but plan to start again next year."

In addition to the RV business, the Enyearts also own Atkinson Motor Sports Park, a place where ATV and dirt-bike owners can ride.

"The park is open seven days a week when the weather is nice," Mr. Enyeart said. "If someone wants to ride when we aren't open, they contact us by going to our website, shabbonacreekrv.com or gobhill.com. In fact, there were some riders over there just the other day."

Mr. Enyeart graduated from the former Atkinson High School and his wife, the former Vicky Heckman, is originally from Annawan.

They ventured into business ownership after their marriage in 1985. Shabbona Creek RV is their second business.

From 1985 to 1988, they owned the former Pit Stop, a bar and grill in Atkinson. They got out of the restaurant business because "we were not satisfied with the amount of money the business brought in -- that, along with the many hours," Mr. Enyeart said.

"The cool part of owning your own business is you only work half days, which is true -- from 7 a.m. to 7 at night, six days a week. That doesn't change, but I don't mind with the business we are in now."

When asked if he would change anything about the business, Mr. Enyeart said, "No, it has all been just fine. I have always wanted to own my business and be successful in achieving that goal and maintaining that goal."








Local events heading








  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.






(More History)