- RV Business - http://www.rvbusiness.com -

RVIA: Rising Tide Lifts Louisville Prospects

RVIA logo

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) today (June 9) wrapped up the open aspect of its strategic Committee Week and Annual Meeting sessions at the Century Center in downtown South Bend, Ind.

While the national trade association’s Executive Committee met in closed session Wednesday afternoon and RVIA’s full board meets Thursday behind closed doors, the general meeting clearly finished on a strong note with RVIA Chairman Jim Sheldon telling about 100 attendees that rising tides in the U.S. economy and the RV industry are lifting prospects after two “challenging years” for this winter year’s 48th Annual National RV Trade Show Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Louisville, Ky.

B>J> Thompson (left) and Gary La Bella address RVIA audience on Wednesday.

B.J. Thompson (left) and Gary LaBella address RVIA audience on Wednesday.

With shipments forecasted to top 230,000 units this year, a 39% increase over 2009, 73 manufacturers through April had reserved 670,000 square feet of display space for the Louisville Show vs. 59 manufacturers and 490,000 square feet a year ago, he said.

This, however, is roughly half the show space the industry had utilized at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville a few years ago.

It’s too early to make forecasts for the association’s retail California RV Show in Pomona, he added, but reservations already are 70,000 square feet ahead of the 2009 show, he added.

An above-average turnout of RVIA’s membership at this week’s meetings, in turn, convinced RVIA’s leadership of the wisdom of holding its strategic annual meeting this year near the Indiana RV-building center of Elkhart County — even if next year’s Committee Week plans already call for a return to Washington D.C. and the format that the annual association has followed for years.

Sheldon, who hands over his chairmanship this fall, was among the speakers Wednesday in addition to RVIA President Richard Coon; Bob Olson, president, chairman and CEO of Winnebago Industries Inc. and Go RVing co-chairman, who gave the treasurer’s report, then later teamed with Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president and chief marketing officer, to update members on Go RVing; and B.J. Thompson, who, with LaBella, gave a report on “The New Consumer and the Road Ahead.”

Here are some excerpts from those presentations:

Jim Sheldon

Jim Sheldon

Richard Coon

Richard Coon

Bob Olson

Bob Olson

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]