Peebles Golf Cars this week opened a dealership in Chesapeake, cutting down the transportation time to Hampton Roads and opening up a bigger direct-to-consumer golf cart market.
“We have several golf courses on the other side of those tunnels and when we do deals there we move the cars from Richmond to Virginia Beach or Chesapeake so we won’t have to bring the used cars back,” said Bert Zajac, manager for Peebles.
Peebles leases carts to golf courses for several years and then sells them to wholesalers and individual buyers. The business works with 140 courses in Virginia, 18 of which are in Hampton Roads and a few local courses such as the Country Club of Virginia, Hermitage Country Club and Kinloch Golf Course.
Zajac said Peebles has been eyeing Chesapeake for two years.
“(In Richmond) We’re south of Virginia Center Commons, so we’re not getting all of the traffic that the West End and Short Pump gets,” he said. “We will be able to sell to new customers in Chesapeake.”
Zajac said Peebles sold 1,200 carts last year to other used cart vendors in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and a few in Richmond. The business also sold 350 carts direct to local customers, who used them for puttering around their homes/farms or for recreational use.
“We’re basically trying to cut out wholesalers to retail more cars and make more money,” he said. “What we want to do is get the retail numbers up and we’re doing that by moving out here.”
The business sells Club Cars-brand carts that range from $1,000 to $4,500. Zajac said customers are moving to electric carts.
Peebles also rents golf carts to individuals and companies for $150 per weekend.
“Churches, schools and people that are having weddings rent them out,” he said. “I have over 250 cars in rental and from July to September I’m out of vehicles.”
Zajac said rentals will do much better at the Chesapeake location then in Richmond.
“There are a lot more festivals and events that we don’t have that they have here,” he said. “The beach cities are much more open to the use of golf cars than Richmond.”
Peebles hired four employees to staff the new location, which increased its total staff to 16.