Bowling Green, Ohio, received “thumbs up” as a first-time host site for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) convention, according to the Sentinel-Tribune, Bowling Green.
Five couples attending this week’s event shared many positive aspects about the city, its residents and businesses.
This is the first time 10-year members Janet and Richard Ritter of St. Cloud, Fla., have attended a major convention, although they have been guests at smaller events. They chose to attend the convention in Bowling Green this year primarily because of its location.
“We didn’t have to go across the country,” said Janet Ritter. “It was easy to get to with the interstate.” The couple were assigned a camping spot at the Wood County Fairgrounds with which they were very pleased. About 500 of the 2,600 pre-registered motorcoaches are there.
“The transportation (to BGSU) is excellent,” said her husband. The majority of campers, plus all exhibits, seminars, displays and entertainment are on the east side of Bowling Green State University.
“We haven’t had to wait for anything or wear ourselves out by walking,” she added.
Also camping at the fairgrounds are Claude and Claudette Roy of Bay City, Mich. They have been FMCA members since 1997 and attend around five major rallies and conventions (state, regional, national) every year.
Not only did the Roys find it easy to get to Bowling Green, and are happy with their camping site at the fairgrounds, but they also like the availability of transportation to BGSU.
“The buses are always there. We don’t have to wait very long,” said Claudette Roy. “We have been at other conventions and waited for a bus for a long time.”
The couple enjoyed Sunday’s downtown “Bash” event, especially the entertainment, and found the city’s restaurants “really neat.” They especially liked Easy Street and described their waitress as “excellent. She was a people person. We had a good time with her. Everyone there was nice.”
Dorothy and Everett Wade of Lake Wales, Fla., are parked on the campus near the stadium. “Where we are is fabulous,” she said, “because we’re on blacktop. We’re in the parking lot.” With Wednesday’s heavy drizzle, the couple didn’t have to worry about grass and mud tracked into their motor coach.
“The people of Bowling Green have been very friendly,” Dorothy Wade observed. But she noted, “I don’t think some of the merchants understood the convention. They were overwhelmed. … They just didn’t have the help to take care of the crowds.” Wade said, though, the ice cream shop they visited had plenty of help which were falling over each other – and still couldn’t keep up with the orders.
From Geneva, Ohio, were Roger Haddock and his wife, Diane, who has a walking disability. They have been FMCA members for 19 years and attend chapter rallies, but chose this convention as the first one at which to camp. “Everything seems to be so far apart because of how large the campus is,” she said. “We haven’t gotten around very well.” They agreed the campus is beautiful, and the people “have been very good, it’s just because it’s so large. … It’s difficult, especially for someone who can’t walk very far.”
Full-time RVers Pat and Jim Sennett were skeptical about camping at the fairgrounds so they were pleased to be placed on the campus, on parking lot blacktop. “It’s just fine. Better than most,” she said. Pat Sennett added she has watched other motor coaches needing to be pulled out of soggy camping sites.
Attendees of over 50 rallies and conventions, she described his convention as having “an excellent facility, the grounds and everything.” She especially liked the comfort level of the air-conditioned buildings for a summer event. One glitch she experienced was not being able to board a full shuttle bus from the campsite to the building where seminars were offered, so when it returned half an hour later and picked her up, she was late for the seminar.