The annual Florida RV SuperShow taking place in Tampa this week will offer attendees a look at the latest RV products, including park model RVs, the cottagelike units that are used as winter homes in Florida and across the Sunbelt.
“It’s an important show for us,” said Mark Kelly, vice president of sales and marketing for Palm Harbor Homes Inc.’s Florida division, headquartered in Plant City. “The orders we generate at the Tampa show will have a direct impact on our production and employment levels for the next several months.”
According to a press release, other upcoming RV and home shows in Florida will also serve as important venues, including the Ft. Myers RV Show, Jan. 23-26; the Ocala RV Show, Feb. 6-9; the Jacksonville RV Show and the West Palm Beach RV Show, both Feb. 13-16; the Germain RV Show in Estero, Feb. 14-16; and the Central Florida RV Show in DeLand, Feb. 27-March 2.
New units on display at the Tampa SuperShow and other upcoming RV and home shows include Palm Harbor’s 2014 Coastal Lodge and Coastal Cottage models, whose interiors feature laminate wood flooring, smooth painted drywall, cathedral ceilings and optional clerestory windows. The Coastal Cottage model also has optional lofts.
“We are also introducing several new looks in 2014,” Cater said, “including transom windows, horizon windows and 10- by 12-foot ‘Lifestyle Porches’ with Savannah posts and railing, a recessed entry and exterior ceiling fan with light, a flying gable and filigree. Our park models also feature Durabuilt cabinets and generally include ceramic tile floors or laminate flooring in our bathrooms and kitchens instead of sheet or linoleum flooring.”
Sales from these shows translate into jobs at Palm Harbor’s Plant City factory, which has increased its workforce by 25% during the past year to more than 200 employees. Palm Harbor is a division of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco Industries Inc.
“We are doing more hiring and we expect to hire more people throughout the year,” Kelly said, adding that Palm Harbor plans to expand production later this year.
Randy Cater, district sales manager for Palm Harbor in Plant City, added that the company’s park models fill a unique niche in the marketplace. “We cater to a discriminating kind of buyer who is not out for the bottom price, but looking for park models that are very well constructed and have a special look and feel.”