Those attending the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., that kicks off with ”Trade Days” Monday (Sept. 13) and Tuesday will find a much larger show than last year.
With more than 1 million feet of indoor and outdoor space booked, the show will be 41% larger than last year, said Heather Leach, director of marketing and education for the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA).
”We are feeling pretty good about the way things are shaping up,” Leach told RVBUSINESS.com.
The gates open for consumers on Wednesday with the show completing its run on Sunday. The recovering economy has put the Hershey Show in good stead.
”Last year definitely was not our best year as far as exhibit space, but people came last year and bought RVs,” Leach said. ”We felt pretty good about that and we are optimistic about this year.”
Sixty-two manufacturers represented by 89 dealers will display approximately 1,000 towable and motorized RV at the show, which last year set a record for attendance with 32,033. Many of the manufacturers will be giving consumers their first look at 2011 models.
Included will be 11 recreational park model manufacturers who will display their cottage-like trailers, also known as park models, in a “Park Model Village.”
Advance dealer registration is running about the same as last year, and dealers wishing to attend can register on the spot, Leach noted. In 2009, 1,048 dealer representatives attended.
Marking the RV industry’s 100th anniversary, Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., will give lectures each day on the RV industry’s history in a display that will feature a camper mounted on a 1915 Model T Ford.
Again this year the Hershey Show will serve as a venue for Home & Garden TV (HGTV), which is returning to film its annual special “RV 2011” one of the cable network’s most-watched specials which will air next spring.
Presenters for dealer seminars on Monday and Tuesday include Barb Darkes of McNees, Wallace and Nurick, Don Bray of Northampton Community College and Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association, consultant Gary Bunzer, sales trainer Grayson Schwepfinger, Robert Basha with Auction 123 and consultant Suzanne Mark.
On Tuesday NFL Hall of Fame member Mean Joe Greene will be present to sign autographed merchandise to raise money for PRVCA’s political action fund.
For consumers, RVer John Holod and Walter Cannon of the RV Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) will conduct seminars along with Mark.
Also present during the show will be the ”Centennial Charlie,” a stuffed bear that has been the RV Centennial mascot that toured the country earlier this year.