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A Busy Agenda for FRVTA’s 33rd Convention

August 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on A Busy Agenda for FRVTA’s 33rd Convention 

Some scenes from last year’s FRVTA convention.

The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) hosts its 33rd Annual State Convention at the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach, Sept. 5-8.

This year’s convention theme, “Taking Care of Business the RV Way!”, will teach attendees how to properly position their businesses for success in the coming year, according to a news release.

The association has assembled a series of educational and informative industry panels, seminars and breakout sessions that should give attendees the insights needed to take care of your business in the coming months.

It’s a three-day conference full of seminars, networking and lots of fun.

Patrick O’Neill, Camp Gulf, Destin, Fla., one of the convention speakers

The convention opens Thursday evening, Sept. 5 with the “We Are Family” Welcome Reception. This is a boss kickoff to the convention. Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and old friends will greet participants as they swap stories from the previous year.

“Taking Care of Business the RV Way” is this year’s convention theme.

The general session kicks off Friday morning with an industry panel that features representatives from every segment of the RV Industry.

Panel members include: Ernie Schumacher from Bank of America (retail lending); Tim Hylana from GE Capital (wholesale lending); Jayco Inc. CEO Derald Bontrager (RV Manufacturers); Florida ARVC President Pat O’Neill (Campgrounds); Jim Musbach of Coast Distribution (parts and supplies); and Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Chairman and Campers Inn owner Jeff Hirsch (RV Dealers).

RVDA President Phil Ingrassia and James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), will offer an update on the Go RVing program and the industry.

Rounding out Friday morning’s general session will be FRVTA’s General Counsel Marc Dunbar who will update attendees on the recent Florida legislative session.

Organizers are hoping to have Florida Gov. Rick Scott join the convention at some point.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Saturday morning breakout sessions will offer detailed information to attendees in smaller, more intimate classroom settings.

According to the latest report, scheduled sessions include:

  • Allen Monello, of AICE, speaks on dealer compliance issues.
  • Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys Inc., covers industry numbers.
  • Jim Musbach, from Coast Distribution, will focus on making parts departments more profitable.
  • Ryan Marlar from the Department of Revenue will cover state tax issues.
  • Erick Swinson, of Morgan Stanley, Smith, Barney, reviews investing and the stock market.
  • Jerry Mann, from Executive Tax Services, details the new healthcare legislation.

A host of activities and entertainment are also planned, all based on “Taking Care of Business…The RV Way.” The ‘70s theme will feature the “I Will Survive” Hospitality Room along with the “May The Force Be With You” golf tourney and the “Fantasy Island” boat outing on Friday. That evening the “Boogie Nights”  Costume/Dinner Party will feature everything from disco outfits to icons of the ‘70s. “Disco Dave” Kelly and his “Dy-NO-mite” Game Show are also on tap.

The convention wraps up that evening with the “Saturday Night Fever” awards banquet and silent auction. The silent auction, which benefits the RVPAC Fund, will feature such items as an I-Pad Mini, Go Pro camera, watches, jewelry and more.

 

FRVTA Board Adds 11 to Scholarship Program

July 24, 2013 by · Comments Off on FRVTA Board Adds 11 to Scholarship Program 

The Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) board, during its July meeting, added 11 new students to the FRVTA Scholarship. According to a press release, the move brings the total number of students on the scholarship program to 26 full-time and three part-time students.

The FRVTA Scholarship began in the fall of 1990 and since that time over 100 students have received an undergraduate degree with the aid of the scholarship. The scholarship pays students $500 per semester or up to $1,000 per year for a total of $4,000 per student. Students must attend an in-state college and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

“Every year we get a lot of qualified applicants,” said Nelda Iacono, chairman of the FRVTA Scholarship Committee. “I wish we could give them all scholarships, but I’m real pleased with the applicants we’ve chosen. We base the scholarship not only on academic achievement, but upon financial need and extracurricular activities. I feel this is one of the most important membership benefits our association offers.”

Students currently on the FRVTA Scholarship are Courtney Runte’, Evan Richardson, Ciara Sibbick, Brittani Worden, Ryan Lynch, Cody Cochran, Michael Ryan, Cameron Purton, Charles O’Neil, Benjamin Molay, Courtney Craig, Dalton Dee, Trey Poehlman, Kevin Smith, Alexandra Spitzer, Jessica Williams, Justin Downey-Defretas, Adrienne Gerzeny, April Graham, Irene Medina, Danielle Prunty, Samantha Purton, Marissa Scrofano, Bradley Senderling, Veronica Beltran, Kayley Clay, Lisa Sansbury, Jennifer Postlewaite and Gina Newell.

Patrick O’Neill to Speak at FRVTA Convention

July 17, 2013 by · Comments Off on Patrick O’Neill to Speak at FRVTA Convention 

Patrick O’Neill, Camp Gulf, Destin, Fla.

Patrick O’Neill, chairman of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (FARVC), will be one of the speakers on an industry panel on Sept. 6 to kick off the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) 33rd Annual State Convention at the Sand Pearl Resort on Clearwater Beach. The convention runs Sept. 5-8.

According to a press release, this year’s convention will feature the “brightest and best minds in the RV industry” to bring FRVTA members up-to-date on the state of the industry and what to expect in the coming months.

The general session will kick off Friday afternoon (Sept. 6) with an industry panel offering representatives from every segment of the RV industry. Other members of the panel besides O’Neill are Ernie Schumacher from Bank of America (retail lending); a representative from GE Capital (wholesale lending); Jayco Inc. CEO Derald Bontrager (RV manufacturers);  Bill Leonard of Coast Supply (parts and supplies); and Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Chairman and Campers Inn owner Jeff Hirsch (RV dealers).

RVDA President Phil Ingrassia and James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), will offer an overall industry update. Rounding out Friday morning’s general session, FRVTA Education Director Jim Carr and General Council Marc Dunbar will update attendees on the RV training program and the recent legislative session.

Saturday morning the break-out sessions will bring very detailed information to attendees in smaller, more intimate classroom settings. Scheduled sessions include:

• Allen Monello will cover dealer compliance issues.

• Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys Inc., will take a look at the industry numbers.

• Bill Leonard of Coast Distribution will show how to make parts departments more profitable.

• A representative from the Department of Revenue will cover state issues.

• Erick Swinson from Morgan, Stanley, Smith, Barney will cover investing and the stock market.

• Jerry Mann from Executive Tax Services will go over implementing the new healthcare legislation.

A host of activities and entertainment are also planned, based on the convention’s the “Taking Care of Business…The RV Way.” The ’70s theme will feature the “I Will Survive” Hospitality Room along with the “May The Force Be With You” golf tourney and the “Fantasy Island” boat outing on Friday. That evening the “Boogie Nights” Costume/Dinner Party will feature everything from disco outfits to icons of the ’70s. “Disco Dave” and his “Dy-NO-mite” Game Show is also on tap.

The convention wraps up that evening with the “Saturday Night Fever” awards banquet and silent auction. The silent auction benefits the FRVPC Fund and features such items as weekend getaways, I-pads, E-readers and Disney gift certificates.

FRVTA still has a few sponsorship opportunities and is also taking prize donations for the silent auction and the game show luncheon. For more information or to make a donation, contact the Florida RV Trade Association at (813) 741-0488.

 

Florida RV Trade Show Attendance Very Strong

March 29, 2013 by · Comments Off on Florida RV Trade Show Attendance Very Strong 

Good attendance at RV shows this year in Florida.

The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) just completed its sixth regional show at venues throughout the state and reported that attendance numbers have been strong, according to a press release.

“The bottom line coming out of the Florida winter/spring RV show season is that the attitudes of consumers are vastly more positive and the fact that most shows were either at or close to last year’s attendance means the interest in RV products is still strong and getting stronger,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly

A roundup of show results includes:

  • The Fort Myers RV Show, celebrating its 28th year, featured 17 dealers from all along the Gulf Coast along with well over 100 vendors. Show Chairman Chris Morse reported that attendance increased about 1,000 over the the 12,300 patrons last year while dealers and vendors registered steady sales. Morse noted that the event also generated followup sales for dealers.
  • The Ocala RV Show held the last week in January showcased 13 dealers and the suppliers’ tent included representatives from campgrounds and resorts along with a parts and accessories store. Great weather the entire weekend brought in just under 5,000 people over the four days of the show. “This was the second year at the new location adjacent to the Super Flea Market, which gives us great visibility from I-75,” said Kelly. “It’s easier to get to and we are closer to town than the old location. I know the dealers like being closer to town and it appears the public does, too.”
  • The 7th Annual Spring Clean-Out RV Show was held the second weekend in February and featured seven RV dealers and six vendors at Germain Arena, which fronts I-75. Held in conjunction with an annual home and garden show, the event attracted over 3,300 attendees despite a cold, rainy start. “We hold this show to reach down into the Naples market where there are lots of RV resorts, but no RV dealers,” said Region 1 President Dan Wylie. “From what I could tell, every dealer did well, moving both new and used products.”
  • The Jacksonville RV Show returned for the fourth year to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Six participating RV dealers showcased product and the supplier’s area was setup so that the public came in and out right past the booths. Great weather again brought in a record crowd of over 7,300 people. “We renewed the promotion from last year’s show to get visitors to go to every dealer and have a card stamped that made them eligible for a drawing every day for a gas card,” said Region 6 President Tom Tibbitts. “This not only got people to visit every dealer, it also gave every dealer the chance to interact with every visitor.”
  • The Central Florida RV Show was held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand the last weekend of February. Seven RV dealers reported “good to great” sales from the close to 4,000 people that attended. “We dropped the admission price a couple of bucks to try and get a bigger crowd, and we were up about 400 people over last year’s show,” said Ken Prentiss, Region 4 president. “We will continue to look at ways to increase attendance and bring more buyers to this event next year.”
  • The last winter regional show was held March 7-10 in the parking lot of the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach and included nine dealers and 10 booth exhibitors. Drawing over 3,400 people, dealers enjoyed strong traffic, including Keith Waits from Palm Beach RV who reported selling both new and used units.

Still to be held is the 18th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers. Show Manager Jack Carver expects to have about 11 dealers and 10 exhibitors in this annual event that is aimed at local residents. “Depending on the weather, this show usually delivers about 3,500 people over three days,” he explained. “It’s the perfect time for our dealers to reach out to local residents as they prepare for the summer travel season.”

For more information contact the FRVTA at (813) 741-0488 or www.frvta.org.

 

Florida RV SuperShow Kicks off 2013 Season

January 8, 2013 by · Comments Off on Florida RV SuperShow Kicks off 2013 Season 

The 28th Annual 2013 Florida RV SuperShow, hosted by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA), is set to run Jan. 15-20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, RVBUSINESS.com reported.

As in past years, “Industry Day” will be held on Jan. 15 followed by “Public Days” for the remainder of the show. According to a press release, the theme of the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow is “Now’s The Time,” conveying the idea that there will never be a better time to buy an RV.

Those attending the show will be the first U.S. consumers to get a look at the North American recreational vehicle industry’s 2013 lineup, all assembled at one time in one coordinated retail exposition.

After a series of late year, trade-only industry events at which manufacturers first unveiled their latest products to dealers, attendees will be able to view 1,100 units while 450 vendors will be on hand to service the RV-enthusiast public.

“The SuperShow as well as all our regional shows provide our manufacturers and dealers with excellent opportunities to display their new products all over Florida,” FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson told RVBUSINESS.com. “With a record attendance in 2012 of over 54,000, we are expecting the 2013 SuperShow to be even bigger and better than ever.”

Along with the displays of the nation’s largest and best known manufacturers, show attendees will be able to view altogether new brands from some authentically new companies, including:

  • An all-new upscale fifth-wheel lineup from LIFESTYLE Luxury RV, a new sister company to Middlebury, Ind.-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC.
  • Entirely new from-the-ground-up SporTrek towables manufactured since July by Venture RV, a new stand-alone subsidiary of KZRV LP, Shipshewana, Ind.
  • The inaugural unveiling of an entirely new lineup of extended stay, Solitude-brand fifth-wheels from Grand Design RV Co., a fledgling Indiana-based towable RV manufacturing firm that’s been drawing a lot of initial attention.
  • The first Flex-brand travel trailers and fifth-wheels from Augusta RV, a new company that opened its doors this year in Bristol, Ind.
  • The rollout of Ocean One Class B motorhomes built on Mercedes Benz Sprinter platforms by Advanced RV, an Ohio-based startup.
  • The North American debut of European-built RVs from one of the more unusual exhibitors at this year’s SuperShow, HYMER AG, Europe’s largest RV builder. HYMER executives say they’re taking a look at the U.S. market and gauging consumer tastes in showing several European-built coaches. The end result is that HYMER could well become a significant player in the U.S. RV marketplace.

In addition to the RVs on display, the event will offer a host of educational seminars while several of Florida’s campgrounds and resorts will have booth exhibits. Camping accessories and supplies will be shown in an on-site Camping World store.

RV writer Bob Marx will host two seminars daily, including “Tips for Buying an RV” and “Full Time & Extended RV Travel.” Additional seminars focus on basic RV maintenance, weight and tire issues and “RVing 101-Everthing You Need to Know.”

The Super Rally celebrates its 26th year at the event. The rally is open to RV clubs and the general public, and includes a number of amenities for the show.

For more information on the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow or to attend “Industry Day,” contact FRVTA at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, Fla., 33578, (813) 741-0488, or visit www.frvta.org.

 

World RV Conference Sells Out Hotel Block

September 6, 2012 by · Comments Off on World RV Conference Sells Out Hotel Block 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has opened an additional room block at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina for the 2nd World RV Conference with the original hotel block selling out five months ahead of the event.

“The pre-registration for the event and demand for hotel rooms has been very strong,” RVIA President Richard Coon stated in a news release. “We are encouraging those who have not made arrangements to do so now. We only have a limited number of rooms in the extended room block, and we are nearing capacity for the conference registration.”

The 2nd World RV Conference, hosted by RVIA, will draw RV industry executives and leaders from around the world. Taking place Jan. 17 – 20 2013, it will feature an informative conference agenda that will provide attendees the opportunity to share market information and statistics, discuss technical issues and standards, and explore how RV companies can work together in an increasingly interconnected world market.

In addition to compelling speakers and insightful general and breakout sessions, the 2nd World RV Conference will also include fun-filled social events along with trips to the FRVTA Florida RV SuperShow and Lazydays RV Super Center.

Online registration materials and full program information for the event is available by clicking on the “2nd World RV Conference” tab at www.rvia.org. To make hotel reservations, contact the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina at (888) 789-3090 and ask for the “2nd World RV Conference Room Block.”

Cornwell on Florida RV Assn. State Convention Panel

July 10, 2012 by · Comments Off on Cornwell on Florida RV Assn. State Convention Panel 

Florida ARVC's Bobby Cornwell

Bobby Cornwell, executive director of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Florida ARVC), will be on the all-industry panel that addresses the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) during its 32nd Annual State Convention Sept. 6-9 at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort, located just south of Fort Myers.

According to a press release, the theme for the convention is “The RV Mardi Gras … Let The Good Times Roll!” that will feature a “Voodoo Lounge” hospitality room.

A general session kicks off the morning of Sept. 7 with the all-industry panel. Besides Cornwell, panel members include Mark Beecher from Bank of the West, Don Emahiser from Crossroads/Redwood RV, Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon, as well as representatives from GE Capital and NTP Distribution.

In addition, FRVTA Education Director Jim Carr and General Council Marc Dunbar will offer an update on the RV training program and the recent legislative session.

Scheduled events include:

• Sept. 8: Morning breakout sessions will provide detailed information to attendees in smaller, more intimate classroom settings. Sheril Vergarra will present selling through social media; Allen Monello will cover dealer compliance issues; Scott Stropkai from Statistical Surveys Inc. will take a look at the industry numbers; NTP Distribution will show how to make parts departments more profitable; and Kim McCorvey from the Department of Revenue will cover issues from the state of Florida.

Other activities will include the “Big Easy” Golf Tourney and the “Crawfish” Outing on Friday afternoon and a “Masquerade Ball” Costume/Dinner Party that evening. Saturday’s lunch will again feature “Doubloon Dave” and his “Jazz It Up” Game Show. The convention wraps up that evening with the “Fat Tuesday” Awards Banquet and Silent Auction.

FRVTA still has a few sponsorship opportunities and is still taking prize donations for the silent auction and the game show luncheon. For more information or to make a donation, contact FRVTA at (813) 741-0488.

Florida RV Show Traffic Bodes Well for Industry

April 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on Florida RV Show Traffic Bodes Well for Industry 

Good traffic, sales at Florida RV retail shows so far this year.

The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) reported that numbers have been strong at the eight regional shows held throughout the state this year.

According to a press release, the show season kicked off with the Fort Myers RV Show in January. Marking its 27th year, the event featured 15 Gulf Coast dealers along with over 100 vendors. Show Chairman Chris Morse reported heavy traffic of over 11,500 attendees along with steady sales by participating dealers.

“While customer traffic was very good, our dealer body was very pleased with the many sales made at the show and afterward,” he said.

Results from other shows included:

  • The Ocala RV Show, held the last week in January, drew over 5,300 people despite a day of rain on Friday and moving to a new location this year. “This was the first year at the new location adjacent to the Super Flea Market, which gave us great visibility from I-75,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “It’s easier to get to and we are closer to town than the old location. I believe we would have had a better crowd if not for the big accident on I-75 on Sunday morning.”
  • The Jacksonville RV Show returned for the third year to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We used a new promotion to prompt visitors to go to every dealer and get a card stamped that made them eligible for a drawing every hour for a $50 gas card,” said Region 6 President Tom Tibbitts. “This not only got people to visit every dealer, it also gave every dealer the chance to interact with every visitor.”
  • The Central Florida RV Show, held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand the third weekend of February, was impacted by poor weather and competing with the new dates for the Daytona 500. “We really felt the effects of the new dates for the Daytona 500 and the bad weather didn’t do us any favors either,” said Ken Prentiss, Region 4 President. “We will be addressing these concerns at our next meeting to make sure we don’t get into the same situation next year.”
  • The 6th Annual Spring Clean-out RV Show took place the last weekend in February. The admission-free event is held in conjunction with an annual home and garden show at Germain Arena, which is situated along I-75 and adjacent to a large outlet mall. Beautiful weather drew an increased patron count of more than 3,500 attendees over three days to see new and used product from seven dealers. “This event is designed to attract those undecided customers from our January event,” explained Show Manager Jack Carver. “We also target the many RVers in the Naples-area market where no RV Dealers are located.”
  • The Destin Commons RV Show was held in the parking lot at the Destin Commons Mall in front of the Bass Pro Shops which drew a lot of outdoor enthusiasts. This show is free to the public so there is no record of actual attendance. The three participating dealers even had good crowds during the set up of the show. “I think we all sold something even before the show opened on Thursday,” said Region 5 President Neal Stewart. “We are looking at other facilities that will allow us to set up a paid gate.”
  • The West Palm Beach RV Show was staged during the second week of March. Held in the parking lot of the South Florida Fairgrounds, this show had about the same attendance as last year in spite of rain on three of the four days. Over 4,500 people attended the event over the weekend with most of the dealers reporting good sales.
  • The final show in March was the Tampa Bay Spring RV Show held in the middle of the month at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Moving the show from last year’s Plant City site proved to be a winning strategy as the event, which drew 2,500 last year, attracted close to 3,000 consumers over the four days of the show. Additionally, great weather and an aggressive ad campaign added up to a busy weekend.

The FRVTA will stage two more RV Shows this season before wrapping things up. The 17th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers in mid-April and the Stuart RV Show in May are expected to continue drawing consumers interested in the RV Lifestyle.

For more information, contact the FRVTA at (813) 741-0488 or www.frvta.org.

 

Florida RV SuperShow Greets ‘Good Crowds’

January 12, 2012 by · Comments Off on Florida RV SuperShow Greets ‘Good Crowds’ 

The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) opened the 27th Annual Florida RV SuperShow Wednesday (Jan. 11) and the crowds rolled in, despite a little rain in the morning.

“By noon we were done with the rain and we even saw the sun,” FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson stated in a press release reported by RVBUSINESS.com. “We opened the show with good crowds and the rest of the weekend we will have great weather so we’re anticipating huge crowds.”

Over 800 RVs motored in Wednesday for the Super Rally. Attendees will camp out right on the grounds and enjoy coffee and donuts each morning, entertainment and snacks in the evenings and unlimited access in and out of the SuperShow.

Seminars this year include Tips to Buying the Right RV, Extended and Full Time RVing, Tire and Weight Issues, RVing to Alaska and Basic RV Maintenance. The slate of entertainment features mime statues, jugglers, clowns, unicycle riders, bag pipe bands, dog shows, one-man-bands and a Kid’s Zone on the weekend with rock climbing, bounce houses, face painting and balloons.

The SuperShow runs through Sunday. Contact FRVTA for more information, (813) 741-0488 or www.frvta.org.

Record Crowds Anticipated at Next Week’s Florida RV SuperShow

January 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on Record Crowds Anticipated at Next Week’s Florida RV SuperShow 

The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will host the 27th Annual 2012 Florida RV SuperShow Jan. 11-15 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. RV Industry Day will take place on Jan. 10 and all RV industry personnel may attend for free.

According to a news release, the show will have representation from every major RV manufacturer as well as hundreds of accessory booth exhibitors. “We will have more supplier booths and every type, size and style of RV on the market,” said FRVTA Marketing Director David Kelly. “With the addition of new entertainment and more seminars, we’re anticipating record crowds this year. We’re also renewing the two-day pass so the public will have two full days to see everything at the SuperShow at no additional cost.”

The theme of the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow is “Take Another Look,” conveying the idea that “if consumers haven’t seen all the new and exciting changes in today’s RVs it’s time to take another look,” according to FTVTA. Entertainment will feature clowns, unicycle riders, barbershop quartets and bagpipe bands, and a free shuttle service inside the SuperShow will be available to transport visitors throughout the fairgrounds.

Seminars include Tips for Buying an RV, Basic RV Maintenance, Weight and Tire Issues, How to RV to Alaska and Full Time and Extended RV Travel, explaining how RV travelers deal with banking, bill paying, telephone communications, e-mail, mail forwarding, medical care and other concerns while on the road for extended periods of time.

The “Super Rally” celebrates its 25th year at the SuperShow. The RV rally is open to any RV club and the general public, and includes a number of amenities including free admission to the SuperShow all five public days, meeting facilities for clubs, free coffee and donuts every morning, and seminars. Three nights of entertainment and refreshments are also included and will feature “The Rivoli Revue” music by Kay and Ron Rivoli, a fun evening with Rick Arnold and turning back the clock with Malt Shoppe Memories. There will also be a collection of antique RVs from the members of the Tin Can Tourists.

For more information visit the FRVTA website at www.frvta.org.

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