Kentucky entrepreneur founded company in 1966, also owned raceway
David Garvin, the founder of Camping World, died Saturday at his home after an accidental fall, according to a report in the Bowling Green (Kentucky) Daily News.
Warren County deputies responded to a call to his Bowling Green home after Garvin slipped while working on his roof. The 71-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, and authorities considered the death accidental.
At the age of 23 in 1966, Garvin started a small store and mail-order business that sold camping products and supplies. He grew the mailing list to nearly 7 million names and eventually opened 100 stores with 5,000 employees.
Garvin and his family also owned the Beech Bend Park and Raceway, hosting carnival rides as well as motorcycle and auto races.
NASCAR released the following statement on the passing of Camping World founder Gavin:
"NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to David Garvin’s family and friends. An innovator well ahead of his time, Garvin started Camping World as a small local store, and grew it into an enormous business. Camping World is a valued NASCAR partner, and our thoughts are with its thousands of employees."
"I am stunned," Marcus Lemonis, the Camping World CEO, told RV Daily Report. "In my opinion, he was one of the greatest pioneers in the RV industry."
Of the 2009 inductee into the RV Hall of Fame, Lemonis also tweeted:
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) August 31, 2014