Dealers Set Sales Record at Utah Retail Show
Blaine Jensen RV Center and Ardell Brown RV, FreedomRoads dealers based in Salt Lake City, Utah, are coming off their best retail show in history.
The sister dealerships sold more than 300 units at the 42nd Annual Sportsman’s Vacation and RV Show, which concluded Sunday (Feb. 25) at the South Towne Exposition Center in Salt Lake City. The four-day show featured more than $20 million in a full range of recreational vehicles, displayed by 26 northern Utah dealerships.
“I’ve been doing this since the mid ’70s and this is the best show we’ve ever had,” said Scott Jensen, regional vice president for Chicago area-based FreedomRoads LLC.
Jensen’s company features Keystone towables and Fleetwood motorized products, and he said both sold well. He noted the majority of his sales were in the $15,000 to $30,000 range.
He said consumers displayed normal buying habits, with people in their 30s to 50s purchasing towables and older shoppers buying motorized units.
Even though northern Utah has been blessed for some time with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S., Jensen had no answer why the retail buying was so brisk at this show.
“Pent up demand? People holding off to see what will happen? I don’t know. I only know they came out and bought. With interest rates still fairly low, I think people are ready to buy,” he said.
Jensen’s two stores were joined by all the major dealers in Utah making it the largest retail show of the year in the state.
“My guess it was a pretty fair show for everybody,” he said. “It was the best opening day ever in terms of traffic and sales.”
The event drew 35,000 visitors, up from 33,000 last year, according to Jon Greenband, show manager, and annually draws one of the nation’s most upscale followings. His demographic information, based on surveys he conducts, showed that 57% of the visitors are age 35 or older, 90% own their homes and the average income is $75,000.
Jensen actually gets a jump on the annual indoor show by starting the week with a new product show at his own dealerships, and then moves some 50 units to the Expo Center for the show.
“I don’t know that the manufacturers or economists are predicting huge growth in ’07, but this definitely was a boost for us,” he said.