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Kay Ivey attends grand opening of new Bankston Motor Homes location in Attalla

Kay Ivey
Photo Credit: Twitter

Governor Kay Ivey was in Attalla on Friday for the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for Bankston Motor Homes’ new dealership and service center in Attalla, in Etowah County.

“Folks, I have been to Attalla a time or two, but I am excited to be here for the opening of this new Bankston Motor Homes facility,” Gov. Ivey stated. “This 49,000 square foot facility is a $15 million investment and will create good paying Alabama jobs.”

“Since the 1970s, Bankston Motor Homes has been a family-owned business, and it is investing back in Alabama,” Ivey said. “We are bringing back made in America.”

“I expect the tourism industry to rise even higher after the opening of this new Bankston Motor Homes facility,” Ivey continued. “The opening of this showroom will allow more of our citizens to get out and experience the open road.”

Ivey praised Bankston Motor Homes for, “Providing an American-made product,” and added, “This company is a true Alabama success story.”

“May God continue to bless each of you and the great state of Alabama,” Ivey concluded.

“The Governor of Alabama is here with us. I got to shake her hand, and I am actually sitting right next to her,” Bankston Motor Homes founder Harrison Bankston said. “I have been waiting 52 years for this.”

“A man at work said I am going to rent a motor home,” Bankston said. “I said, what is that? It is a home on wheels he said.”

“I went and checked,” Bankston said. He told his business partner, “Why don’t we buy one? You can use it one week. I can use it one week and then we can rent it one week. We went to our banker, Dick Aldridge, and he agreed to rent us $8,500 for our first motor home.”

Unfortunately, that first motor home got into an accident in Florida and had damage all the way down the side. They went back to banker Aldridge.

“Ok, boys, I am going to lend you another $8,500 for you to buy another motor home,” Bankston recounted.

Eventually, the motor home rental and sales business, which began as a sideline to the original TV rental business, moved up to an RV dealership.

“We started with two employees,” Bankston said. “My oldest daughter Jan (Baerlin) and her husband gave me 13 grandchildren. Ten of them work in the business. My oldest grandson, Chase, is the President. We are approaching 200 people working in our business and six locations.

“We are honored that you took time out of your busy schedule to be here to support us and Alabama jobs,” President Chase Baerlin said. “This process began over four years ago. When we stepped out of the vehicles, I think we all saw not what was here but the potential of this site. This building is a significant financial investment, and it represents our commitment to our customers, our employees, and the industry.”

Bankston has formed an alliance with the local career tech center at Etowah County Schools and the National RV Institute.

“High schoolers will have the opportunity to jump-start their future by doing real hands-on work here,” Baerlin said. “We really want you to say and believe that the only way to go is in a Bankston Motor Home.”

“We are so happy to have the Governor here,” said Attalla Mayor Larry Means. “I served with her in the legislature when she was State Treasurer.”

“It is a pleasure to have a governor, like we do, who believes in business,” Means stated. “Without saying anything about a former Governor, I served with one who would not do things like this. Every time it was a fight. I won’t mention his name. Governor Ivey is not like that. Something she always says is, “Larry, it is always about the people.” Not only is she the governor, but she is the next governor for four more years.”

Ivey is running for a second term in the November 8 general election.

“I would like to welcome everyone here to this new facility,” Means said. “Everyone, county, city, and everybody worked together to make this happen.

Bankston has several locations across the state of Alabama and markets and services all sizes of RVs, camper trailers, and parts.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].

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