Respected businessman and community leader David Garvin was 71.
David Garvin, a Bowling Green, Kentucky businessman who founded prominent NASCAR sponsor Camping World and formerly owned Beech Bend, a drag strip and oval track, died over the weekend, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.
Garvin, 71, was apparently working on the roof of his home when he slipped and fell. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Garvin founded the business that would become Camping World in 1966 at age 23, starting a small store and mail-order business that sold camping products and supplies. Camping World, now coast to coast, has grown to about 106 stores and 5,000 employees.
Camping World issued a statement: "David Garvin, the founder of Camping World, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 30th as a result of an accidental fall. Our hearts, our prayers and our gratitude for his contribution go out to the Garvin family on the loss of what we would say is one of the greatest pioneers in our industry's existence. On behalf of all of the Camping World and Good Sam employees and customers, we will forever be grateful for his vision and leadership. Our community, our industry and our hearts will always have a special place in them for David."
From one store to over 100
Camping World grew from the single store in Bowling Green -- incidentally, home to the factory that builds the Chevrolet Corvette -- to the nation's number one retailer of RVs, RV accessories and RV-related services.
Camping World became the title sponsor of the NASCAR truck series in 2009, and a few months ago extended its title sponsorship through 2022. Company CEO Marcus Lemonis, who stars in the CNBC show “The Profit,” credited the Camping World Truck Series sponsorship with helping his company increase its revenue from $1.5 billion annually in 2009 to $3 billion annually today, according to the Sports Business Journal. He also said it helped in attracting younger customers to Camping World.