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Hershey OEMs Enjoy Steady Opening Day Sales

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September 13, 2018 by   Leave a Comment

RVs filled the Giant Center complex at the Hershey Show

Gloomy weather forecasts may have prevented a record crowd yesterday (Sept. 12) for the opening day of America’s Largest RV Show, but officials said those who made it through the turnstiles were serious buyers with “money burning holes in their pockets.” (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page. Photos by Shawn Spence).

Hosted by the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association (PRVCA), the “Hershey Show”, which runs through Sunday, features 156 booth vendors and about 1,400 RVs from 42 manufacturers encompassing more than 1 million square feet of display space at the Giant Center complex.

PRVCA Executive Director Heather Leach reported that first-day attendance was off somewhat from last year’s record gate of 10,083.

“We’re still sort of waiting for the final count. But my best guess right now is about 7,200 people in attendance,” Leach told RVBUSINESS.com. “And this year we do have some weather to contend with, but it’s a better forecast now than maybe what was initially anticipated. The weekend looks really good. It doesn’t seem like we’re going to get any of the Florence weather until Monday and Tuesday of next week. So, we’re looking for a pretty good week.”

Lines were backed up at Hershey Show’s opening day

Weather challenges aside, Leach said OEMs and vendors were reporting that sales were strong opening day.

“I talked to a lot of exhibitors, manufacturers, suppliers and dealers yesterday, and they all seemed to have really great sales, and that’s the most important part for our members and exhibitors is that the right people were coming and that a lot of exhibitors were having a really successful first day,” Leach offered.

In fact, several manufacturers and their dealer representatives reported they wouldn’t be surprised if they sold as many units during this year’s opening day as they did during the 2018 show.

Perched inside an all-new Tiffin Allegro Bus 37 AP – which, like the rest of the Allegro Bus line, has a flat floor this year thanks to an added rail to the proprietary Powerglide chassis – founder and President Bob Tiffin was kept busy as people filed in nonstop to inspect the rig and shake hands with one of the industry’s icons.

Tiffin Motorhomes President Bob Tiffin

“Last year, when we came to the show we had 70,000 paid attendees and it looks like we’re going to have more than that this year. I don’t know for sure, but just by the crowd I would say so. Today, I would have thought the crowd would be a little skinny because of the weather, but it hasn’t deterred anyone so I’m looking for a big show,” Tiffin told RVBUSINESS.com.

Other manufacturers shared similar stories, mentioning that they had sold several units at all different price points before dinner on the first day.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Gregg Beaudette, regional sales manager for Midwest Automotive Designs, part of REV Group. “We’re not even halfway through the first day yet – it’s open till 8:00 tonight – but we have six units on display just for the Midwest inside the massive REV booth and we’ve got two units sold already. Traffic’s been great and you can tell the economy is really booming.”

 

 

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