RVIC: Midwest RV Super Show ‘Playing for Time’
The decision on whether the 55th annual Midwest RV Super Show and Rally will take place remains up in the air.
Reports of its cancellation were incorrect, said Mark Bowersox, director of the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council, according to The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.
“It was postponed,” he said. The show is currently slated for Sept. 17-20 at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Bowersox said. The RVIC board of governors will decide if the show will go on.
“Right now what we are doing is playing for time,” Bowersox said. “There are certain industry and economic indicators we are looking at that need to improve between now and then for that show to happen.” But some of those factors are already improving, Bowersox said.
“The industry is rebounding in the lightweight and towable markets,” he said. “The stock market, the growth of the last week or 10 days not withstanding, is starting to come back from where it was last year. And consumer confidence, we believe, is starting to rebound as well.”
Bowersox said a decision will have to be made by mid-August and might be made sooner.
“We want to have the show,” he said. “We think it’s good for that area and the industry, but we need to see growth in those areas.” Two years ago about 7,500 people showed up to look at products from 22 RV retailers that represented 80 different product lines.
Last year retailers and crowd numbers “were off,” Bowersox said.
“And that’s a case of economic factors around the country and their impact on the RV industry,” he said. “There is nothing wrong with the product, per se,” he added.
“We believe it’s a good, reliable product, and at a good price point. The unfortunate part is that it’s part of the overall American economy.
“It’s subject to consumer confidence issues not created by the RV industry.
“Financing issues, the stock market and consumer confidence are what it’s tied to. They are all outside of the RV industry, but have had a tremendous impact on the industry. The RV industry will continue to improve as those factors improve.”
The show always has been held in August in the past, and it draws regionally, Bowersox said, with some people coming from the Southeast and Eastern parts of the United States.
The show is the same show that had been held for decades on the campus at Notre Dame.
Diana Lawson, executive director of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said she thought the show drew about 3,000 people a year ago at the fairgrounds.
She is unsure how it would do in September, but thinks it could do OK.
“I think if there is enough lead time to let people know that the event is going to happen, there is an opportunity for it to do the same amount of business as it did last year,” she said. “It will depend on the amount of dealers they get to participate in the show so they have enough product for people to enjoy.”