Last updated and verified on February 24th, 2023
Camping World is one of the top brands in the world of RVs, trailers, and outdoor recreation area. However, as you become a diehard fan of Camping World, you might ask yourself who owns Camping World?
It’s not as easy as it used to be, and the specifics could surprise you. I wondered the same thing as yourself since I am a big fan of Camping World, so I have studied and researched the business, its structure, and its key players.
Who Owns Camping World?
Camping World is a publicly traded company, meaning that technically anyone who wants to buy some shares in Camping World Holdings Inc. is a share-owner. That has been the situation since 2016, when the company conducted its first public sale, bringing in around $250 million.
But, certain “owners” are larger than other owners. One of the most common answers to the question of who is the owner of Camping World is chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis. Lemonis is the main owner of a large portion of the company through a partnership with the private equity company Crestview Partners. Lemonis has also been increasing his stake up to 2020. Large institutional investors hold the majority of shares. This includes Abrams Capital Management, L.P., The Vanguard Group, and Wasatch Advisors Inc.
Before its 2015 IPO, Good Sam Enterprises managed the company-owned Camping World. Good Sam Enterprises (formerly known as Affinity Group) acquired Camping World in 1997 from creator David Garvin who had been running the company since.
What Is Good Sam Enterprises?
Good Sam Enterprises owns or manages a range of RVor outdoor-related brands. The company that evolved into Good Sam Enterprises has roots that go back several decades. It was founded as a magazine publisher for the RV and trailer-related magazines and was sold to several corporate parent companies up to the beginning of the 1990s. Then, in the early 1990s, Affinity Group was formed to assist in combining the magazines and a national collection of campgrounds, resorts as well as other assets. Affinity bought Camping World in 1997 and officially changed its name to Good Sam Enterprises in 2011.
Other Companies and Services Owned by Good Sam Enterprises
One of the most well-known among Good Sam Enterprises’ other businesses includes The Good Sam RV Club. It’s among the most well-known RV clubs. It gives members discounts of 10% at over 2,000 Good Sam-affiliated campgrounds and RV parks.
Members enjoy discount coupons on Camping World, Gander RV & Outdoors, Overton’s, and Pilot/Flying J’s gas stations. In addition, they receive the free boat and RV dump stations. Membership in the club offers roadside assistance and extended service plans for an extra cost.
Good Sam Enterprises also operates several businesses and services under the Good Sam brand. For instance, Good Sam Finance Center is one of them. Good Sam Finance Center provides financing for trailer and RV purchases. The Good Sam Insurance Agency also assists you with the insurance of your boat, car, and home. Good Sam also has its own travel guide and RV park guide and can assist you in finding non-Good Sam parks.
Coast to Coast membership club is part of the Good Sam Enterprises family. The coast to Coast membership club is integral to the Good Sam Enterprises family. The more exclusive membership gives you access to resorts within the network for only 10 dollars per night. It is possible to join this club by being a member at any or more affiliated resorts. In addition, Good Sam Enterprises also has a publishing division that produces Motorhome and Trailer Life magazines.
Who Is Marcus Lemonis?
Marcus Lemonis is the chairman and CEO of Good Sam Enterprises, Camping World, and other subsidiary companies. He has been in the position since 2011 and was the chief executive officer for Camping World since 2006.
Lemonis has been buying shares of Camping World since 2018, costing a total of $7,952,017.68.
Lemonis is a native of Lebanon and was adopted by a Lebanese and a Greek couple who resided within the United States. He earned his degree from Marquette University, and after an unsuccessful run in the Florida House of Representatives, he worked in various positions in the automotive industry and the business world.
An exchange with a close family friend and ex-Chrysler chief executive Lee Iacocca convinced Lemonis to join the outdoor and RV travel business. After establishing RV dealer operator FreedomRoads in 2000 several mergers led to his current position as the head of the Good Sam family of companies.
Lemonis might be most famous outside of the camping and RV world for his cult CNBC program “The Profit.” On the show, Lemonis hunts down opportunities for investment and assists entrepreneurs in turning around their struggling small businesses. The show has been running for seven seasons since it premiered in 2013.
How Much Is Camping World Worth?
At the beginning of June 2021, Camping World was worth about $3.3-3.4 billion when measured by market capitalization. This method determines the value of a company by multiplying the value of shares by the total amount of shares.
It’s a substantial increase over its IPO in 2016, which had a market value of about $2 billion. Anyone who holds Camping World stock owns a portion of that, and those who had held shares from when they first started have witnessed their value increase substantially.
Is Gander RV the Same as Camping World?
Camping World is the parent company of Gander and operates under a different brand. Gander Mountain, previously named Gander Mountain, declared bankruptcy in 2017 following a struggle with its underperforming stores and a surplus inventory. A group headed by Camping World Holdings bought the company’s assets.
They organized and rebranded the assets to Gander Outdoor. Camping World continues to operate more than 70 Gander Outdoor stores around the nation.
As you can see, the decision to who is the owner of Camping World is a matter of various answers. The different owners need to understand Camping World’s role in its larger Good Sam family and its relationship with other companies such as Gander Outdoor.
The various parts of the Good Sam family work to form one of the biggest businesses in the camping and RV market. Are you a frequent customer at Camping World often, or do you own any shares in the company?