ELKHART — Before the RV/MH Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Monday night, President Darryl Searer delivered his annual “state of the hall” address, and outlined his expansion plans.
“Over four years have passed since I volunteered to help the hall of fame out its financial difficulties, and with a lot of support from hundreds of individuals and scores of companies, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and the foundation is getting close to its original debt-free goal,” he explained.
“The big picture is, we have doubled the average income for the last four years; we cut expenses by more than 10 percent per year; we paid off the “Boots” Ingram Family’s loan in less than three years; we settled a dispute with the city of Elkhart in less than one year; we paid off David Woodworth on the antique RV collection in just over one year and we increased our credit worthiness allowing us to obtain a standard mortgage at a rate of 3.5 percent,” he added.
“All of these actions have reduced the hall’s debt to the level where we have over 90 percent equity. And now is the time to look towards the future,” said Searer.
He then offered participants the first to look at the vision of the future plans of the hall of fame at its 40-acre location.
“These plans will allow us to grow with the RV and manufactured housing industries as well as the greater Elkhart community to service the event center needs, office needs and the long-awaited Scoular Manufactured Housing Museum,” Searer explained. “These plans will also insure a positive cash flow to make certain the hall will be here forever.
“The goal would be to have the new expanded hall of fame, event center, rally site, offices and manufactured housing museum completed by 2020, or sooner based on how soon we can raise the funds so we are debt free when we occupy the new facility,” he added.
During the ceremony, Searer presented the annual Hall of Fame Spirit Award to Barry Cole, who owns MH Insurance Services, and is a hall of fame member and former chairman of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation.
“The Spirit Award is an annual award to honor the person who has demonstrated his or her desire and dedication to further the legacy of our great heritage,” said Searer.