A familiar name in the recreational vehicle business is about to ride into the sunset.
Stalkup’s RV Superstore is in the process of winding down operations, according to co-owner Ray Stalkup.
The closing ends a long history of the Stalkup family presence in Casper’s auto and RV scene.
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Ray’s father, Max, started selling cars in the early 1950s, according to Ray. Over time, he seemed to sell just about anything that could move on roads, snow and water. He became Casper’s first Honda dealership in the early 1970s, was the first dealer to sell Winnebago RVs and motorhomes west of the Rockies starting in 1964, and picked up Casper’s first Nissan franchise. Marine and snowmobile dealerships were also in the mix.
Ray and his brother Rod started helping their father with the family business early on. “Growing up, we would always go to the auctions and he’d have us look for flaws in the cars…we always found it fascinating,” said Ray.
Eventually the brothers became equal partners with their dad. Over time Ray and his wife Amie took over the RV business as other divisions were sold off. The superstore and its sprawling stock of RVs was a fixture in the Old Yellowstone District for years.
Ray says while he enjoyed watching customers get excited about their RV purchases, he and his wife rarely had the time off to hit the road themselves. Now that will change as they retire to Arizona, where they own a second home.
Another factor in Ray’s decision is a rare hereditary disease he and his late brother have dealt with. Rod died from complications in February. Ray will receive specialized treatment in Arizona, which he can’t get here.
Ray tried to sell the business, but the last promising offer fell through. He says most if not all of the employees have secured work. The parts department, which Ray says was the largest in the region, will continue for the next few weeks.
“We’ve had such a wonderful array of customers,” said Ray. “We’ve made lifelong friends in this business.”