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Strong RV consumer shows a good sign for 2013

(Feb. 14, 2013) -- Large crowds and robust sales at consumer RV shows in the first month of 2013 give the industry positive news for the start of a new year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said today. Building on a third straight year of shipments growth, the industry is poised for continued recovery in 2013.

RESTON, Va. — Large crowds and robust sales at consumer RV shows in the first month of 2013 give the industry positive news for the start of a new year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said today. Building on a third straight year of shipments growth, the industry is poised for continued recovery in 2013.

Across the country, RV shows are reporting high levels of attendance and strong business. According to a press release from the RVIA, this was the case at the Original Pittsburgh RV Show, organized by Rob Young.

“Our attendance was up 15 percent this year, and sales were up about 10 percent — and last year was a good year for dealers too,” Young said. “This has been a record year for us both in attendance and amount of space sold.”

This experience was shared by Joe Gonsalves, who runs the Northeast RV and Camping Show in Hartford, Conn. Gonsalves said he increased the size of his show by 10 percent this year, to account for increased demand from dealers and vendors, says the release.

“Attendance is up 13 percent this year,” said Gonsalves. “And dealers are reporting more sales than in the past few years.”

The RV show in Syracuse reported strong attendance and sales as well, states the release. “Just from the start of this year — and the last quarter of 2012 — business has been booming for us,” said Kevin Bostrom of Camping World, which runs the Syracuse show. “Shipments and sales are way up.”

The release states that in Tennessee, the Knoxville RV Super Show drew more than 15,000 visitors.“This year’s show is much bigger due to last year’s success,” said show manager Rob Lynch. “We’ve got 30 percent more RVs and 15-20 more vendors. We’ve got everything from pop-up campers to half-million-dollar motorhomes.”

The Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa saw attendance rise slightly from 2012 to 54,255 — a new record for the show, says the release. “We didn’t knock the doors off, but it was better than last year,” said FRVTA President Lance Wilson. “We were very pleased. Number 1, we want to make sure enough people are there, and number 1B is we want manufacturers to sell products. In most cases, people did very well.”

Similar reports emerged from shows in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. The 47th Annual Detroit Camper and RV Show saw record-breaking attendance with 21,000 attendees – a 13 percent rise over the last year’s previous record, states the release.

“The attendance for this show was phenomenal and it’s obvious the camping and outdoor lifestyle is growing!” said Dave Rochette, owner of Westland Camping Center, in Westland, Mich. “Interests are across the board, ranging from the small, less-expensive models, to the larger, luxury models.”

RVIA works to capitalize on the strong consumer enthusiasm for these shows with publicity efforts that target local media, says RVIA. This retail show publicity effort has resulted in show information and RV lifestyle stories published in Dayton, Ohio; Boston, Mass.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; and South Bend, Ind.

Coverage has been positive with a focus on large crowds, strong sales, and innovative products at an array of price points, states the release. Visit the “In the News” page at RVIA.org for a more comprehensive look at RV shows coverage.

SOURCE: Recreation Vehicle Industry Association press release

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About Kelly Cauthorn

3 comments

  1. While Kelly has done a good job at painting a bright picture for the 2013 business year, I would like to comment on what may be reality. I attended the Knoxville RV Super Show. While I could not confirm Rob Lynch’s estimate of 15,000 attendees, the Show space was reasonably well attended. There was also a goodly number of Vendors, etc. What, in my mind, was really lacking was the “buying buzz”. Folks I spoke with (7 out of 10) were attending mainly to kick the tires. From what I could overhear, I would estimate that 90% of the attendees were RV owners, What is not said in the Article is that many of the attendees indicated that they were not there to purchase a new RV, but to see what was new and exciting in the “rolling stock”.
    It might be prudent to say “Let the Reader beware”.

  2. Wait till gas Gets a Little Higher Lets see What Happens $ 3.89 here. We went to a RV show to get out not to buy saw a lot of people looking and very few buying.

  3. The vast majority of people I see purchase a new RV at a show didn’t come to purchase an RV, they came to “kick the tires”. If traffic is up, sales should be up.

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