There was no question Monday night (Sept. 19) that Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House Week was off and running, based on a quick “kick off” social hour visit to Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s “Casino Night” party in the Shea Pavilion at the company’s Nappanee, Ind., manufacturing complex.
True to the growing tradition of Open House Week, this was a social venue as much as a business venture.
And, much to the dismay of anyone in the industry attempting to maintain a conservative diet, it included a traditional buffet of steak, shrimp and eggrolls from Chef Stanley Lau, a longtime friend of the company who’s been cooking at special Gulf Stream events for nearly 45 years – dating back to the early years of the company and a longstanding friendship with late Gulf Stream founder Jim Shea, Sr.
Gulf Stream President Dan Shea said he was “very excited” by Monday night’s turnout, which totaled more than 100 dealer personnel, during an interview with RVBUSINESS.com and RVNN.TV.
“I think we were anticipating about 65 to 80 dealers today and we’re well over a hundred, and it’s still only 7:15 p.m.,” said Shea, whose company had set up about 45 units in Nappanee and another 60 at two different Elkhart Open House Week locations – one at the corner of County Road 6 and Northland Drive “We’re very excited about it and it’s been very well received by the dealers. Word is getting around town that
more and more dealers are referring other dealers to us. So, we’re very excited.”
In the big picture, Shea added, it looks as if Open House Week will take another step forward this year in terms of attendance. “Definitely,” he noted. “I’m sure that by sometime tomorrow we’ll have had more dealers at this open house this year than any other in the past… It’s kind of good to see the launch of the year a little bit earlier and, in working with the dealers, they’re excited to see the new products now rather than in Louisville. It allows them to plan for their year a little better because a lot of the (retail) shows have been earlier in January and February in (various) markets, and sometimes that first week in December’s just a little too late.”