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PRVCA’s Hershey Show Posts Record Traffic

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September 16, 2010 by   Leave a Comment

Attendance during the opening day of the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping show in Hershey, Pa., set a record with 6,216 people entering the gates during ”Seniors Day.”

”We had a good day yesterday,” said Heather Leach, director of marketing and education for the sponsoring Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA). ”Everyone who has come into the show office said they’ve had sales, and we very pleased, overall.

”Plus, the weather was beautiful, which sometimes is not the case.”

Leach’s comments were consistent with those of other industry people working the Hershey Show — the East Coast’s largest annual retail RV event.

”Traffic was awesome, almost overwhelming in fact,” said Bill Fenech, president of Thor Motor Coach, the product of a recent merger of Thor Industry Inc. subsidiaries Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International Corp.

”We’re definitely excited. Everything is selling — Class C’s, and Class A gas and diesels. We are getting real numbers. There is still pent-up demand out there.”

Jerry Sell, national sales manager for Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s EnduraMax towable SURV, said opening day ”went very well.”

”We got one sale for sure, but seniors aren’t really our demographic,” Sell said. ”Manufacturers I talked to were very pleased with the attendance and were happy with their sales. Based on the first day and how well sales are going, we are expecting the rest of the week to be strong.”

Traffic was strong and “people were generally in a buying mood,” Prime Time Manufacturing President Jeff Rank said of Wednesday’s record burst of Hersheypark traffic. “I guess, given where the industry’s been in recent years, we felt pretty good about it.”

Rank said the most prevelant show attendees Wednesday were older RVer s— no surprise, given the fact that it was senior citizen discount day — many of them looking to downsize.

Show Chairman Dan Saltzgiver, owner of Reichart’s Camping Center in Hanover, Pa, said that traffic in his display at the show, which is showcasing Forest River Inc.’s Rockwood towable brand and Earthbound Recreational Vehicles LLC travel trailers and fifth-wheels, was ”very brisk.”

”They had leads coming in, and, all in all, it was a very good,” Saltzgiver said.

With more than 1 million square feet of indoor and outdoor space booked, the show is more than 40% larger than last year when the country was in an economic tailspin.

Sixty-two manufacturers represented by 89 dealers are displaying approximately 1,000 towable and motorized RV at the show — up from 660 in 2009. The Hershey Show last year set a record for attendance with 32,033 despite the economic realities of the day.

Many manufacturers are giving consumers their first look at 2011 models. Included at the show are 11 recreational park model builders displaying their conventional and cottage-like trailers in a “Park Model Village.”

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