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Strong Consumer Attendance At RV Shows Another Good Sign For Economy


A spike in attendance at RV shows around the country could be yet another indicator that the RV industry – and America’s economy – are headed for growth in 2010.


Over 50,000 consumers attended the Florida RV Super Show in Tampa this month, up 12 percent over last year’s strong attendance. Attendance at the Grand Rapids (MI) RV Show doubled over last year’s number with more than 20,000 consumers attending. And at the Ohio RV Super Show, 33 percent more consumers showed up this year than last year. The large crowds at these shows have pleasantly surprised organizers and dealers, who say that, in addition to stronger attendance, sales are also much improved over last year.


“Sales were awesome – just like the old days,” said Bob Sanders, sales manager for Dusty’s RV, about the highly successful Florida show. “We wrote 170 deals at the show, compared with 58 last year.” Sanders added that sales were across the board and included 40 motorhomes.


“We are seeing a two year pent up demand for RVs finally opening up,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “Americans will only wait so long for things that they really want, and it appears they want RVs right now.”


Loren Baidas of General RV Center said consumer enthusiasm and dealer optimism reigned at the Grand Rapids Show. “The attitude of buyers was 100% better than last year,” she said. “People were in a buying mood.”


And at Greensboro (NC) RV Show, Regional Show Manager Anthony Tedesco reported an increase in attendance over last year’s show. “The response from dealers and exhibitors was extremely positive,” said Tedesco. “Show attendees were definitely excited about the RV lifestyle and that really showed. Several RV dealers reported significant growth in sales and felt very positive about the upcoming year due to this event.”


Show manager Dianne Seymour said of the Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show in Denver, “Attendees were lining up at the doors each morning, and we had quite a crowd that stayed until the show’s end every night. People were clearly excited about the RV lifestyle and eager to see what the dealers and exhibitors were offering.” Jim Humble of Windish RV agreed, adding, “It was a fantastic show. This year, we sold double the units we sold last year. This was a quality crowd that was here to buy. We are just thrilled.”


Reports from RV retail shows indicate that shoppers are impressed with new RV products that are smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient than previous models.


“Although consumer interest in RVing remained strong even through tough times, it’s great to see that consumers are now confident enough to begin buying again,” said RVIA  President Richard Coon. “Solid traffic at RV shows is another strong sign for 2010.”




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