Camping World Inc. and its Good Sam Enterprises LLC affiliate apparently made good on a promise this past weekend (Oct. 17-20) to bring thousands of RV enthusiasts together “to experience world-class evening entertainment, warm southern hospitality and to shop for hundreds of new RVs, outdoor products and camping accessories” by drawing 2,717 consumer coaches to the surrounding lots and infield of the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
All things considered, the Rally, which ended last night with a concert by the Vogues, a 1950’s group well suited for the event’s older demographic, also drew about 500 walk-in attendees a day, Vice President of Media and Events Mark Boggess told RVBUSINESS.com.
He said things actually couldn’t have gone much better, especially considering that the Rally drew about 6,000 people for a Friday night concert by the legendary Beach Boys and another 5,000 for Saturday evening’s performance by C&W entertainer Vince Gill. “It was awesome, and we had a great turnout here,” said Boggess as CW/GS’s staff was preparing to wrap things up last night.
“This was our first time here at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and, you know, all the venues are different, and I’d say probably the best part of this event here was the ability to park rigs. I mean, this place was really easy for consumers to access, and we heard it a lot at registration about how easy it was for people getting in and how they didn’t have to wait in line. So, that was a big thing as far as impressions and people came in happy. That was a good thing.”
While consumers, with the exception of the handicapped, were parked outside the speedway facility, all of the supplier and OEM displays were located in the infield, with Camping World alone showing 160 units while the number of commercial rigs on hand in the outdoor displays totaled around 300. Activities during the included about 20 seminars a day plus a veterans’ salute, Huey helicopter rides, dog Frisbee performers plus presentations by Food Network’s “Surreal Gourmet” Bob Blumer and tours of Antebellum homes, the CNN Center and the “World of Coca-Cola.”
From a commercial standpoint, Boggess says the exhibitors at the Rally were pleased with the pace of business.
“We filled two NASCAR garages and a Camping World tent at least 80 feet long with Camping World and Good Sam product,” Boggess reported. “We had over 300 indoor exhibitors sold. We even spilled over into the outside areas. People wanted to be at this Rally, so it was a huge success, and all the manufacturers did very well – Jayco particularly in the towables, as well as Keystone and Heartland.”
He added, “As for motorized, we heard nothing but great comments from Winnebago, Thor, Fleetwood and Newmar. They were all in the infield. So it made it very convenient for the handicapped people in particular to get to their exhibits. Then we shuttled people by tram and bus from all the parking around the Atlanta Motor Speedway venue through the tunnel, and that went very smoothly, too.”