The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), one of the sponsors of a PBS concert featuring the Texas Tenors vocal trio this past spring, has announced that the group will perform at the association’s 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Perry, Ga., March 17-20.
According to a press release, millions of viewers met the singers as they competed on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2009. To date, they remain the highest-ranking vocal group in the show’s history.
Tunes from the group’s newest CD, “You Should Dream,” scheduled for release later this year, were performed during the taping of the PBS concert on May 13 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. The trio was accompanied by the Phoenix Symphony and the New Life Singers university choir.
The Tenors previously performed at the association’s 84th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon, in August 2010.
Other performers slated to appear during the association’s 2014 event in Perry are Southern humorist/speaker Jeanne Robertson, March 18, and singer/songwriter Sarah Getto, March 20.
The Country Coach Friends Inc. Club (CCFI), a fast-growing international chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), announced its 2014 events schedule with rallies in Louisiana and Oregon planned.
“A motorcoach rally is the perfect place for coach owners, RV-related businesses and suppliers, and other vendors to join up for five days of fun, friendship and mutual enjoyment of this great motorcoaching lifestyle,” said CCFI President Jerry O’Connor in a press release. “Country Coach Friends was founded on friendship and we extend an open invitation to all motorcoach owners (and vendors) to attend a CCFI event.”
During CCFI rallies, attendees are presented with informative technical seminars about their coach and it systems along with entertainment, meals and many other scheduled events. A vendor display offers many shopping opportunities, and there is usually a sales coach display for those shopping for a new motorhome.
Rally dates and locations for 2014 include:
• March 17-21, Cajun Palms RV Resort in Beau Bridges, La.
• Aug. 4-8, Linn County Events Center, Albany, Ore.
For information call (775) 742-4627, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.countrycoachfriendsincorporated.com.
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) announced that the group will host its 90th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Ore., set to run Aug. 13-16, 2014.
According to a press release, the association hosts conventions twice a year in varying locations with the purpose of celebrating the motorhome lifestyle. The 2014 rally will mark FMCA’s fifth visit to Redmond, having met in the city in 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2010.
Set on 320 acres in the heart of Central Oregon, the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center offers a total of 100 acres of parking space and views of seven snow-capped mountain peaks. Clean, attractive facilities accommodate the various convention activities, and beautifully landscaped grounds make for pleasant strolling between venues and events. In addition, average summer temperatures range in the mid-80s for highs to the mid-40s for lows. And with an average annual rainfall of only 8 to 12 inches, Central Oregon averages 250 days of sunshine each year.
“The folks in Central Oregon always seem to welcome FMCA with open arms,” said FMCA Executive Director Jerry Yeatts. “The Deschutes County Fair and Expo provides a great venue for the FMCA Family Reunion behind the backdrop of the beautiful Cascades. FMCA’s Tour Connection, powered by Fantasy RV Tours, has put together some outstanding caravans that lead right up to this grand event in Redmond. We look forward to experiencing all the excitement and adventure of meeting in the great Northwest.”
“We are eager to welcome back FMCA for their 90th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase next August,” said Roxia Thornton Todoroff, director of sales at the Deschutes Fair & Expo and the 2013 Redmond Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau board president. “On behalf of Deschutes Fair and Expo and the Redmond Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, we are ready to roll out our red carpet welcome to all attendees. We invite FMCA members to come early and stay longer to enjoy all of the fun activities, great food and drink, entertainment, recreation and adventure found here in Redmond, Central Oregon, and the entire great state of Oregon.”
Also in 2014, FMCA will return for an eighth time to Perry, Ga., for a Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase, March 17-20. The 1,100-plus-acre Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter has become a popular place for RV rallies, with its spacious parking facilities; expansive meeting, exhibition, and entertainment venues; and convenient location just off Interstate 75.
Convention activities include a motorhome exhibition that brings together major motorhome manufacturers and dealers from throughout the United States and Canada, as well as manufacturers and distributors of a multitude of RV accessories and components, and suppliers of various services related to RVs.
In addition to the motorhome show, highlights include seminars on a variety of topics related to motorhomes and RV travel, tours of local sites and scenes, daytime and evening entertainment, and numerous social activities.
For more information, visit FMCA.com or call the FMCA national office at (800) 543-3622 or (513) 474-3622.
Things couldn’t have gone much better for the independent Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, held last week (June 19-22) on the association’s 50th anniversary at an elaborate and relatively remote 1,100-acre venue called CAM-PLEX in the northeast Wyoming community of Gillette.
“It was a great event,” FMCA Executive Director Jerry Yeatts told RVBUSINESS.com as he made his way home on Monday (June 24). “We had nearly 2,300 family members in attendance and we had the best number of display coaches that we’ve had in a long time, and I think we had some record sales as far as our indoor exhibitors are concerned. So, all in all, it was a fantastic event with plenty of celebration involving our 50th anniversary.”
Recognizing the association’s Golden Anniversary in Gillette was a “nostalgia room” full of FMCA paraphernalia as well as the showing in an on-site theater of old video clips from previous events and a 1973 film called “Peaceful Invasion” about FMCA members converging en masse on Du Quoin, Ill.
Also drawing plenty of attention in Gillette was a prominent display of privately owned Flxble coaches — iconic, aerodynamic units dating back to the 1950’s that were converted from over-the-road buses. The Flxible has been featured in FMCA’s logo since its inception.
Although Yeatts said he hadn’t had a chance yet to touch bases with several outdoor exhibitors, including a good representation of North America’s major motorhome builders, the word from interior vendors pitching everything from campgrounds to food processors and RV parts and accessories at the CAM-PLEX’s Wyoming Center was consistently upbeat.
“It was one of the busiest events that we’ve had as far as traffic in the indoor exhibits,” said Yeatts on behalf of the Cincinnati-based owners group. “And in speaking to many of them, they were quite pleased with the outcome of sales. As for the outdoor exhibits, there were a few that said they were pleased and one that I had a chance to touch bases with who described their experience here as ‘awesome,’ whatever that means in terms of sales.”
At the same time, Yeatts agrees, the general picture in Gillette seemed to be an affirmation in many ways of the vitality of today’s consumer marketplace with so many coaches in such a remote location – a city of about 30,000 that’s been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years due to vast area reserves of coal, oil and coal bed methane gas. The Wyoming Center, a 9,000 seat arena, was completed in 2008 at the sprawling CAM-PLEX, which hosts events ranging from concerts and balls to the National High School Finals Rodeo.
Yeatts, for his part, was highly complimentary of the CAM-PLEX staff, especially in its supportive response after a fairly strong hail storm that swept across the area on Saturday, the last day of the convention.
“Well, it definitely wasn’t an easy-to-get-to location for us,” said Yeatts, “but I think the family members who came just had a great experience, a great time – even with some storms that came through on Friday and Saturday. We did experience some damage from about an inch and a half of pea-sized hail that fell on Saturday afternoon, which dampened the ending of our indoor and outdoor exhibits. The water actually came through the doors of the Wyoming Center. So, it was quite a storm. But, thankfully, the damage was minimal, no one was injured and we all kind of took it in stride.”
Hundreds of motorhomes and a variety of accessory merchandise will be assembled in Gillette, Wyo., in mid-June for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) Family Reunion and Motorhome showcase. According to a press release, the event will run June 19-22 at the CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities in Gillette as the Cincinnati-based club marks its 50th anniversary.
Major motorhome manufacturers and dealers will be bringing new motorhomes to Gillette for convention attendees to tour. Plus, other companies will display their wares inside the Wyoming Center, making available RV accessories, components, supplies and campground information.
On June 19 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. a special preview of the motorhome exhibits will take place. Regular hours for the motorhome displays will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday while hours for the displays of RV accessories, supplies and components will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The daily fee for viewing motorhomes and booth displays is $5 per person; children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Individuals with an active military ID will be admitted free also.
A Daily Passport that provides admittance to the exhibits, all seminars, and evening entertainment is available for $65 per person ($55 for FMCA members). The admission fee on Wednesday covers admission on Thursday as well. Free public parking will be available at the CAM-PLEX.
Those who own a motorhome or other self-contained RV will be able to take part in all of the activities and to stay with the rest of the FMCA group at the CAM-PLEX. The gate price for non-FMCA members is $245 per RV (with two people); this non-member fee automatically grants a one-year FMCA membership or Family Motor Coaching magazine subscription to the RV owner. The FMCA member price is $195.
Convention attendees will be able to check out the latest features and innovations that are available in motorhomes. Some of the displays will include production-line units, and others will demo custom-built coaches for uses ranging from family camping to transporting high-tech business equipment, or for use as conference coaches. A great variety of motorhome styles and a broad price range will be represented.
The RV exhibition is just one element of the FMCA motorhome owners convention. Approximately 2,500 families will travel from across North America in their motorhomes to take part in the event, and some 8,000 people will be on hand. The convention will include RV seminars on topics relative to RVing; evening entertainment; and various social events.
And since the motorhome owners group is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, the event in Gillette will serve as the organization’s official birthday bash. A number of special activities are planned to commemorate the event, including a display of vintage Flxible motorhomes — the classic coach that appears in the association’s logo — and a nostalgia room filled with memorabilia.
For more information, visit FMCA.com or call (800) 543-3622.
Country Coach Friends Inc., an International chapter of Family Motor Coach Association, held their Spring Rally at Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerrville, Texas May 14-19.
According to a press release, in addition to the slate of activities and entertainment, the group also held an auction to benefit the ill children served by the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, the Children’s Miracle Network hospital in the area.
The Children’s Miracle Network saw 150,000 children last year with 250 of these children coming from Kerrville. In total $12,000 was raised during the Country Coach Friends gathering from nine states to help the hospital in their efforts to bring hope and healing for the children and families throughout south and central Texas.
The event was organized by organized by rally hosts David Twilley and his wife, Jean, as well as club president Jerry OConnor and his wife, Sherry.
Country Coach Friends is a motorcoach owners club open to owners of all brands of motorhomes. For more information visit www.countrycoachfriendsincorporated.com.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., recently announced that RV industry pioneer Kirwan Elmers will be inducted as a member of the class of 2013 during an induction dinner on Aug. 5.
In a press release, the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) noted that Elmers has been a long-time family and commercial member of the Cincinnati, Ohio-based organization, currently marking its 50th anniversary.
He attended the July 1963 FMCA meeting of “house car” owners where the decision was made to form the organization for those who enjoyed traveling by motorized recreation vehicles, now known as motorhomes. Elmers also served as a member of FMCA’s Commercial Council for many years, including as president from 1990 to 1999.
“Kirwan’s induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame is long overdue,” commented FMCA national president Charlie Schrenkel. “He has been a true pioneer in the RV industry whose contributions merited recognition by his peers. We are proud that Kirwan has been associated with FMCA for so many years, and we congratulate him on this honor.”
Two other motorhome industry leaders and FMCA supporters also will be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2013 – the late C.M. Fore, founder of Foretravel Motorhomes, and the late Mat Perlot, founder of Safari Motorhomes.
In 1955, Elmers and his father, Miles, founded Custom Coach Corp., based in Columbus, Ohio. Custom Coach became a division of Columbus-based Farber Specialty Vehicles in 2002, but Elmers continued to be involved in the operation of the company until his retirement in 2012.
He and his father developed the first commercially converted motor coaches designed for private use. The company’s custom conversions provide celebrities, traveling executives and RV families with permanent or temporary residences.
The company’s many well-known clients brought recognition to the motorhome lifestyle. For instance, the company provided 22 “Big Mac” coaches for Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, as well as coaches for the late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, among myriad other corporate clients. Custom Coach conversions have even been used as “anchors” for the Goodyear blimps.
Custom Coach’s celebrity clients have included Lee Greenwood, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, Ray Charles, Clint Eastwood and sportscaster John Madden.
The clientele list also includes true royalty, as the royal family of Saudi Arabia has purchased a number of the company’s conversions over the years. The last of the family’s 21 45-foot Custom Coach conversions were delivered by air to Dubai, the capital.
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes, is finalizing plans and registering families and exhibitors for the group’s June 19-22, 2013, motorhome showcase in Gillette, Wyo.
More than 2,000 motorhomes and some 8,000 people are expected to gather for this grand event, which has been dubbed “Celebrate In Gillette.” CAM-PLEX Multi-Events Facilities will be the hub of activity for the motorhome showcase, with families arriving and staying in their RVs and forming a small city on wheels, KTWO Radio, Casper, reported.
The association hosts conventions in varying locations across the United States with the purpose of celebrating the motorhome lifestyle and is making its first visit to Gillette for a Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase. The association’s Rocky Mountain Area hosted a smaller, regional rally at the facility this past September. FMCA also hosted a convention at the University of Wyoming in Laramie back in 1992.
Since the motorhome owners group is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, the event in Gillette will serve as the organization’s official birthday bash. A number of special activities are planned to commemorate the occasion, including a display of Flxible motorhomes, the classic coach that appears in the association’s logo. A nostalgia room will be set up with memorabilia depicting 50 years of motorhome fun and friendships. A Black Tie & Blue Jeans Dance is on tap for one evening, and The Buckinghams, one of the top pop groups of the 1960s, will enhance the trip down memory lane the following night. Five-time Grammy winner and country music star Marty Stuart will perform on the final evening.
Regular convention activities include a motorhome exhibition that brings together major motorhome manufacturers and dealers from throughout the United States and Canada, as well as manufacturers and distributors of a multitude of RV accessories and components, and suppliers of various services related to RVs.
In addition to the motorhome show, highlights include seminars on a variety of topics related to motorhomes and RV travel, tours involving local sites and scenes, entertainment, and numerous social activities.
For more information visit www.FMCA.com or call the FMCA national office at (800) 543-3622 or (513) 474-3622.
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) announced the April 1 release its North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide. According to a press release, FMCA is currently accepting preorders for the seventh edition of the spiral-bound atlas which incorporates the most up-to-date map information available at publication time.
Highlighted on the full-color maps are Walmart and Walmart Supercenter locations, Sam’s Club stores, Pilot Flying J travel centers, Cracker Barrel restaurants and big-rig-friendly campgrounds. FMCA commercial member campgrounds and other campgrounds that provide club discounts are also identified, said Kay.
For on-the-road convenience, the FMCA atlas contains a chart listing Walmart and Sam’s Club stores that are located within one mile of interstate exits.
Additional features include an alphabetical index of campgrounds by state, accompanied by phone numbers; an index of cities and towns; tourism information; a mileage chart; and a distance and driving time map.
The 11-inch-by-15-inch atlas is protected by a laminated cover that adds to its durability, and the spiral binding enables it to lay flat for easy reading, states Kay.
FMCA’s newest atlas is available for $16 plus shipping from the FMCA Store or by calling (800) 543.3622.
Officials said they are taking steps to ensure the organizers of an annual RV rally renew their lease and stay on for many more years at the regional airport in Florida’s Hernando County.
Hernando Today reported that County Commission Chairman Dave Russell met with the board of directors of the Southeast Area Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) Rally and has instructed staff to put together a report for the commission to discuss at an upcoming meeting.
Russell told Hernando Today some ideas have already been floated and, if they work out, would help convince the FMCA that Hernando County is the place to be.
Russell said the county will discuss extending the association’s lease through September, an extra six months.
“(That will) give us some breathing room to see what we can accomplish to accommodate our good friends,” Russell said.
If past rallies are any indication, these road warriors could pump in $10 million or more into the local economy.
Russell said the board will discuss the following remedies:
• Constructing a multipurpose building on airport property that allows the FMCA to save money on tents and provide a more expansive gathering place for meetings and other activities. The association used to lease a hangar from the now-defunct Brooksville Air Center to house their events. The county could explore ways for other groups, such as the Hernando County Cattlemen’s Association, to also use the building. Conrad Kleinpeter, an FMCA regional vice president, said it costs the association some $80,000 to erect tents for the annual rally.
• Moving the rally to the southwestern portion of the airport, which would not interfere with the planned expansion of aviation-related development at the current site. The FMCA would benefit because it would provide easier access for RV-goers.
• Discussing with airport tenants the possibility of leasing one of their hangars during the five days the rally is in town.
“We’re looking at every option that may be available to us in order to help them make a decision to stay here,” Russell said.
Russell stressed that the airport has limited flexibility on its lease charge, which is some $12,000 annually.
Sue Marino, an FMCA representative, called it premature to say there is anything in the works to move the rally to another site.
“Nothing has been determined yet,” she said.
Marino said the board of directors is talking with airport officials about the situation, including moving to Volusia County.
Hernando County Aviation Chairman Gary Schraut said the FMCA is a “major priority” and all involved are willing to work with the board to keep them here.
“They’ve been great tenants,” Schraut said. “They’re a great group of people. They can bring thousands of people here at one time.”
Schraut said if the FMCA directors are willing to commit to staying here, then the county can more seriously explore having a multipurpose building available to them.
“There are many opportunities,” Schraut said.