City Auto RV Superstore in Newport Closing Sales Operation

Sunday, November 02, 2014
Newport — After nearly more than 80 years in business, City Auto RV Superstore on McDonough Road and Route 11-103 near the Claremont line, will be closing its doors sometime in 2015, the owner announced recently.

“I’m going to go back to my passion,” said Sara Burbee, who left her nursing career to take over the business after her husband died in 2010. “I miss nursing terribly and this seemed like the appropriate time to close.”

Spring, just before the summer travel season, is the busiest time for RV sales, she said. Though the business will no longer sell recreational vehicles and campers, it will maintain a parts and service business at the same location, Burbee said.

Burbee had been a nurse for 17 years at Valley Regional Hospital before stepping in to run the business that was started by her late husband’s grandfather in the 1930s. Burbee’s husband, John, bought the business from his father in 1986, and moved it to the current location from Claremont.

Burbee said she did not try to sell the business, which she said had gained a strong reputation for quality products and excellent customer service, preferring to keep it in the family.

“We have a lot of repeat customers here,” she said, some who come from Connecticut, Maine and New York.

Burbee said the recreational vehicle market has been strong during her time running the business. She attributes that to more people preferring to spend money on something they will have year after year, rather than a one-time expense for a trip.

The sales yard of the business is filled with recreational vehicles of different makes, models and sizes, but an effort to reduce that inventory has led to advertised sales with deep discounts. Burbee said she they will remain open well into next year in order to sell everything.

Burbee also said closing the main part of the business will give her more family time.

“I have two small children and I have lost time with them,” she said.