The 25th annual Bangor, Maine, Camping and RV Show scheduled for this weekend at the Bangor Civic Center has been canceled due to lack of interest from vendors, according to Bass Park Director Mike Dyer.
The event, which is organized by Bass Park and Civic Center staff, has been held every year since 1986. Dyer explained, however, that in order to fill the space at the Civic Center, at least three large vendors are needed. This year, only two had committed, according to the Bangor Daily News.
“It actually goes back to last year when dealers lost some of their co-op money (from RV manufacturers) to participate in the show,” Dyer said. “Last year, we cut the amount of rental space in half with the thought that something was better than nothing. This year, we were going to proceed that same way, but it didn’t happen.”
Mike Dalton, vice president of McKay’s RV and Marine Center in Holden, said his company was committed to the show — which would have run from Jan. 29 through Jan. 31 — and was disappointed to see it canceled.
“Some dealers don’t care, but we always do pretty well at shows,” he said. “It’s hard to say how much business the show might generate, but it’s certainly a good way to show new products. It’s not like this is a busy time of year for us.”
McKay’s has participated in the show since its inception, as has D&M Trailer Sales of Medway.
“It’s a good show,” said David Guy of D&M. “I’m sure it’s helped business.”
Webb’s RV Center in Bangor has participated in the past but was not interested this year, Dyer said.
In addition to the RV vendors, the Bangor Camping and RV Show has drawn approximately 20 small vendors in past years — mostly area campgrounds, Dyer said.
“Rather than attempting to deliver a subpar show, with fewer options for the show attendees, management has opted to take a year off,” Dyer said in a statement on Bass Park’s website. “It is our intention to come back in 2011 in an improved economy, stronger than ever.”
All vendors have been notified and will receive refunds, Dyer said. The event was never a huge moneymaker for the Bangor Civic Center, but Dyer said, “We always made something on it.”
Dalton, meanwhile, said his company likely will take the money it spent participating in the Bangor event and use it on other forms of advertisement.
Both Dalton and Guy said they would be more than happy to return in 2011.