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Camper van manufacturer with French roots expanding in Las Vegas

Updated July 9, 2024 - 6:53 pm

A Las Vegas camper van manufacturer with French roots is expanding its operations.

Noovo, a company that converts Dodge Promaster vans into small camper vans with a bed, kitchen and toilet, has recently upgraded its manufacturing facility from a 6,000-square-foot space to a 20,000-square-foot facility in northwest Las Vegas.

The company, founded in March 2020 by three French friends, Benoit Lafond, Paul Aubert and Antoine Alberteau, had previously converted a school bus into a traveling hotel business, but once the pandemic hit, they shelved that idea and pivoted to start converting vans into camper vehicles that people could live out of with ease.

Why in Las Vegas?

Noovo bases its manufacturing in Las Vegas because the city is a perfect location for people looking to kick off a road trip in the West, Aubert and Lafond said.

“(Las Vegas is) the entrance of the West Coast, and it’s close to national parks,” Aubert, who serves as a co-CEO of Noovo, said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Everyone wants to fly to Vegas,” added Lafond, who is also a co-CEO. “When (our customers) come to pick up the vans, they fly here, and they want to make a road trip from Vegas.”

Las Vegas’ position among an array of outdoor travel destinations — within a day’s drive of Zion National Park in Utah, Death Valley National Park in California and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona — not only boosts Noovo but several other outdoor recreation businesses in the area.

Overall the outdoor recreation industry in Nevada is performing well as the sector grew by 25.3 percent in recent years and added more than $6 billion to the state’s economy in 2022.

Bigger facility, bigger operations

Noovo moved into its new facility in May and is taking advantage of the increased space by upping its production to about one van a day, Lafond said. At Noovo’s old facility it would take around a week to produce a van.

Noovo offers three types of vans, and prices range from $162,000 to $185,000, Lafond said.

The Noovo vans are designed to go off the grid as they have a battery system that can be powered by solar panels, a heated water system with a 40 gallon water tank and Starlink WiFi. The vans also all come with a queen-sized bed, stovetop, sink, toilet, shower, and foldable desk.

“You can basically park anywhere, and you don’t need to be plugged in and using water,” Aubert said. “So you can just go in the middle of the Lake Mead (National Recreation Area), you can park and enjoy life there.”

Noovo’s growth plans

Aubert said that most of the company’s customers are either retirees or people looking for weekend getaways, and its demand for services has stayed steady even as more people return to hybrid or in-person work schedules after the pandemic.

Noovo still has plans to grow and aims to employ hundreds of employees in the next few years and would ideally expand into a larger facility in a few years, Lafond said.

To fuel its growth Noovo is also working to build a group of dealer partners across the country so people won’t have to fly to Las Vegas to look at a van, Lafond said. It already has one partner in Colorado and is looking to expand into states where there is a lot of demand such as Florida and California.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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