Early RV Show Season Exceeds Expectations
Affinity Events, one of the largest producers of outdoor-related consumer shows, reports that traffic and sales at several of its U.S. RV shows have exceeded expectations in a number of cases, including the Colorado RV Adventure Show, the North Carolina RV Camping Show, the Washington Camping RV Expo and the New Jersey RV Show.
"Going into our first shows of 2009, we didn't know what to expect," Tom Gaither, senior vice president of Affinity Events, stated in a news release. "I've been in the industry 20 years and, with all that is going on in the economy, I was impressed with the number of people who showed up with money and the intention of buying RVs. It's good to know that individuals who love the RV lifestyle are still buying."
Randy Ketelsen, owner of Ketelsen Campers in Wheat Ridge, Colo., said that he saw a shift in buyers' moods at the Colorado show.
"I had a good feeling coming out of the show," Ketelsen said. "The most important thing is there is a definite undertone of consumer interest and pent-up demand. It's almost like they are waiting for someone to tell them that it's OK to buy an RV and enjoy the lifestyle."
In Greensboro, N.C., at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 7,500 people attended the 20th Annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show and all 14 dealers displaying units reported sales.
"Steady traffic at this show in addition to new show features got RVers in the mood to buy," Gaither said. "In fact, several dealers reported great sales activity."
Those sentiments were echoed by Jeff Haughton, vice president of Affinity Events' Eastern region, who said buying activity in Greensboro was strong.
"Comments from the dealers were that the quality of the crowd was superior," Haughton said.
In Edison, N.J., it was reported that three banks were at the show in order to make sure that RV buyers had financing. Low interest rates and cheap gas make RVs even more affordable.
"We had a good show," said Walter Hynes, general manager of Scott Motor Coach Sales, based in Lakewood, N.J. "We didn't see any delusional buyers. The buyers at the show were serious and ready with down payments. We feel that we will be able to get 90% of our sales from the show closed and credit approved."
Affinity Events is a division of Ventura, Calif.-based Affinity Group Inc. (AGI). Woodalls Campground Management is published by Affinity.