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RVIA’s Pomona Show Sees Growth, Strong Sales

October 17, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

RV packs the fairgrounds in Pomona for the California RV Show

Neither southern California’s Anaheim wildfires (some 30 miles away) nor parking issues or thermometer-busting temperatures succeeded in dampening the continued growth of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) California RV Show, which closed Sunday (Oct. 15) after a 10-day run at the Los Angeles Fair & Exposition Fairplex in Pomona.

The 65th California Show has more than doubled in size in the last six years, reports Western Show Director Tom Gaither, and this year’s 9.6% growth – from 38,946 in 2016 to 40,167 attendees in 2017 – should go a long way toward securing its position as the preeminent West Coast retail RV venue.

“I think the key word here is that this was an impressive show in several ways, especially as far as the size of the show — 1.2 million square feet — as well as the number of RV’s involved — 1,400 units total,” Gaither told “And I talked to a number of manufacturers and companies that did well in terms of sales. Tiffin’s (Tiffin Motorhomes Inc.) spokesmen, for one, said it was their best show ever. Sales were brisk here. I realize that you hear that at every show, but the factory people were happy when they left here Sunday afternoon.”

That said, Gaither, who’s already laying the groundwork for next year’s event, was particularly pleased with the crowd-drawing entertainment that RVIA hosted on Sunday. That included autograph-signing appearances by popular television host/actor Mario Lopez, who first made a name for himself in 1989 on the TV sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” a role that lasted five years.

Also on board for a special performance on Sunday at the entertainment tent in the middle of the fairgrounds was on-air personality and recording star Don Cheto, thanks to the promotional services of Estrella TV and Que Buena 105.5 FM. Gaither noted that the show that draws about a fifth of its attendees from the area’s Hispanic community.

RVIA’s Tom Gaither and Mario Lopez

“Mario Lopez was a great spokesmen who really made our TV commercials pop,” said Gaither. “When you heard Mario talk, you stopped and looked at the TV to see what he was talking about. He really was a big addition. And, as far as his appearance on site, he was probably the nicest guy you would ever talk to. He was very friendly with his guests. He handled every signature. These guys really only scheduled themselves for an hour, but stayed until the last customer was served. And when they were done, Mario said, ‘Tom, I’ll be happy to come back next year.’”

At the same time, he added, Cheto took a lot of selfies with fans on hand during the final day, which was promoted as “Fiesta Day” by Gaither and his staff. “Our Fiesta Day on the final Sunday also went very well,” added Gaither. “Channel 62, Estrella TV and radio, have a show just like ‘America’s Got Talent,’ and they brought three or four of these women – as well as a 10-year-old girl — who just belted out songs, one after the other. They couldn’t get enough chairs in the entertainment tent to accommodate the crowd that gathered to see them. It was hit.”

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