The 34th Annual Mid-Nebraska RV and Boat Show has a new home this year in Grand Island, Neb.
While the event will still be at Fonner Park, this year it will be in the Nebraska State Fair Exhibition Building, the Grand Island Independent reported.
Tony Staab, owner of Rich and Sons RV of Grand Island, said the new location will allow exhibitors more floor space to show the public this year’s latest RV and boat offerings.
Rich and Sons RV, along with Dykeman’s Camper Place of Hastings, Eagle Crest RV of Grand Island, SeaLand Marine of Norfork and Brad’s Marine of Hastings, are this year’s sponsors of the Mid-Nebraska RV and Boat Show. The show will run from noon to 8 p.m. today (Jan. 28) and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
With the increase in space offered by the Exhibition Building, Staab said, his company will increase the number of RVs it will show to 44, with a total of 85 to 100 RVs on exhibit. He said the number of boats will be between 25 and 30.
For many years, the RV and boat show was in the Fonner Park concourse. Then it expanded to include the Heartland Events Center.
“This is the first year in the exhibition center, and it is all under one roof,” Staab said. “It will be a lot easier for people coming to see the RVs and boats.”
As with every year of the show for the last 34, it will feature the latest in RVs and boats.
“We always try to have something new and different,” Staab said. “We have new models and a lot of new and exciting things.”
For example, Staab said there will be a “patented” outdoor patio on one of the fifth-wheels, which will be located at the entrance of their display.
“There are some neat things that the RV industry has been doing this year,” he said. “Our manufacturers are staying on top of things. We’ve got some new things to show people.”
Staab said the market for RVs has been doing “very well.”
“We are getting ready for another good year,” he said. “What it all boils down to is our economy has been pretty steady and solid, mainly because of our agricultural base.”
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) said its year-end shipment total for towable and motorized RVs in 2010 was 242,300 units.
RVIA expects a total of 246,000 shipments this year — a 4% increase over the 2010 forecast. Increases are expected for every type of RV in 2011, with the gains mainly due to improvements in retail sales rather than the restocking needs of the dealer networks.
The recreational boat market — which includes boats, propulsion systems and accessories — is projected to rebound from depressed 2009 levels and grow 9.3% annually through 2014. Powerboats will pace the boat category, driven by technological advances such as newer propulsion systems and more advanced electronics.
While many people associate an RV with retirees, Staab said the average age of his customers is in the low 40s.
“It is something people are finding that, while their kids are still young and they still think mom and dad are still fun to be around, they are using their family times on the weekends and taking them camping,” he said.
RV dealers are always bringing in new models, he said, allowing people either to trade up or buy their first RV.
“What we are also finding is that interest rates are extremely low, and we have good low rates for the show that we have negotiated with the banks,” Staab said. “Between that and the discounts, it is a great thing for people to find their RV with spring right around the corner.”