The RV Learning Center has joined forces with the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) for the sixth consecutive year to provide online training for RV dealership personnel through the Distance Learning Network (DLN).
The subscription includes unlimited access to more than 50 DLN training sessions, coursework reviews, and test preparation sections, which are available anytime throughout the program year. The 2011-12 DLN program includes a range of subject matter to improve the performance of dealership personnel, including:
• RV Technician Certification Preparation Course: More than 40 hours of instruction will help train and prepare RV service technicians for the RVDA-RVIA RV Service Technician Certification test and completion fulfills recertification requirements.
• Service Writer/Advisor Course: This three-hour program is ideal for both veteran service writer/advisors and new hires. Presented by service writer/advisor veteran Andrea Blackmon, the program helps prepare your personnel for the RV Learning Center’s Service Writer/Advisor Certification test. Completion of the course counts toward recertification requirements.
• Advanced/Manufacturer Specific Training: Features product-specific training from RV manufacturers and suppliers from within the RV industry.
• RV Greeter – Receptionist Course: A 50-minute program that covers: the importance of customer service; the skills and expectations for the RV receptionist; the importance of making the right first impression; communicating on the phone; handling difficult customers; and organizational techniques for the workplace. The program is suitable for all persons needing customer service skills. The program includes a final exam and certificate of completion.
“The DLN provides dealers and their management team the unique opportunity to offer group training, led by a mentor, right at the dealership,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “FRVTA uses adult education experts at the RV Training Institute at Florida Gateway College and works with experienced RV professionals to develop and update the training sessions. FRVTA also provides dealership-based mentor support and encouragement throughout the year to help keep employees motivated,” he said.
“When you add it all up, this program saves dealers money by eliminating travel costs and time out of the dealership,” said RV Learning Center Chairman Jeff Pastore of Hartville RV Center in Hartville, OH. “The program is available on demand – so dealers don’t have to wait to get new hires into the training program.”
The only requirement to participate is a high-speed Internet connection. A video cable connected to a television is also useful for group training. A one-year subscription to the program costs $995 per dealership location. The subscription term is Aug. 1 2011 through July 31, 2012.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) held the space drawing for the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow on Aug. 2-3, according to a press release.
Conducted in the organization’s Riverview, Fla., office via phone and Internet, manufacturers drew approximately 10% more space for the 2012 show versus the 2011 show drawing. FRVTA said the “grandfathered drawing order” determined the order in which space was selected.
“We want to thank all our manufacturer members for their continued support,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “The SuperShow, as well as all our regional shows, provide our manufacturers and dealers with excellent opportunities to display their new products all over Florida. With a record attendance in 2011 of over 53,000, we are expecting the 2012 SuperShow to be even bigger and better than ever.”
The theme of January’s show, to be held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, is “Take Another Look!” The theme “emphasizes the fact that RVs have changed so much over the last few years that people need to revisit RVing as a vacation option.” FRVTA said it is also an invitation to discover what so many people have already found out: that RVs offer freedom, flexibility and fun not found in any other activity.
Industry Day is set for Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will be treated to coffee and donuts in the morning and a free lunch. Public Days will run Jan. 11-15. The RV SuperShow hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday is Senior Citizens Day with seniors receiving $1 off the cost of admission (not valid with other discounts).
For more information on the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow or to register for Industry Day, contact FRVTA at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, Florida 33578 or visit the web-site at www.frvta.org.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will be holding the 31st Annual State Convention at the beautiful Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa on Ft. Lauderdale Beach.
The dates for the convention are Sept. 8-11. According to FRVTA, this year’s convention will bring together feature the “brightest and best minds in the RV industry” to bring all members up-to-date on the state of the industry and what to expect in the coming months.
The theme for the convention is “The Greatest RV Show on Earth” that will create a circus-type atmosphere for attendees. The “It’s A Circus” hospitality room will offer a great place to unwind after a busy day and relax with fellow industry professionals from around the state and country. Friday afternoon will be time for the “Clowning Around” golf outing and the “The Big Catch” fishing boat. That evening the “Under the Big Top” costume/dinner party will feature everything from clowns and jugglers to lion tamers and high wire acrobats.
Saturday morning kicks off the general session with an industry panel that includes representation from every segment of the RV industry. Rick Compton from BBT and Sam Scott from Bank of America will cover retail and wholesale lending. Bob Olson, chairman and CEO from Winnebago Industries Inc., will represent the manufacturers, Bobby Cornwell from the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (FARVC) will represent the campgrounds, Martin Street from Stag-Parkway will cover parts and supplies, and Mike Molino from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and Richard Coon from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will have an overall industry update. FRVTA Education Director Jim Carr and General Council Marc Dunbar will bring everyone up-to-date on the RV training program and the recent legislative session.
Saturday’s lunch will again feature “SideShow Dave” and his “Three Ring Circus” game show. Contestants will be pitted against each other in games that look very similar to the popular game show “Win it in a Minute”.
Saturday afternoon the break-out sessions will bring very detailed information to attendees in smaller, more intimate class-room settings. John Mancinelli will present a seminar on increasing sales in your dealership. Allen Monello will cover dealer compliance issues, Marc Dunbar will go more in-depth with his legislative update session, Tom Walworth from Statistical Surveys Inc. will take a look at the industry numbers and Street will show you how to make your parts departments more profitable. The convention wraps up that evening with the “Grand Finale” awards banquet and silent auction.
FRVTA still has a few sponsorship opportunities and is still taking prize donations for the silent auction and the game show luncheon. For more information or to make a donation, contact the FRVTA at (813) 741-0488 or contact David Kelly directly at (813) 714-3445.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) board of directors at the July meeting added seven new students to the FRVTA Scholarship. This brings the total number of students on the scholarship program to 25 full-time and five part-time.
The FRVTA Scholarship began in the fall of 1990 and since that time over 80 students have received an under-graduate degree with the aid of the scholarship, according to a news release. The scholarship pays students $500 per semester or up to $1,000 per year for a total of $4,000 per student. Students must attend an in-state college and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
“Every year we get a lot of qualified applicants,” said Nelda Iacono, chairman of the FRVTA Scholarship Committee. “I wish we could give them all scholarships, but I’m real pleased with the applicants we’ve chosen. We base the scholarship not only on academic achievement, but upon financial need and extracurricular activities. I feel this is one of the most important membership benefits our Association offers.”
Students currently on the FRVTA Scholarship are Brooks Ballard, Jack Fitzgerald, Lindsay O’Bryan, Michael Pawley, Leon Bard, Allison Peacock, Ericka Kelley, Katelyn Whidden, Ashley Wilson, Jordan Connor, Taylor Davenport, Christy Alba, Ashton Connor, Brittany Masterson, Lindsay Crisp, Katelyn Searcy, Jessica Meyer, Rachael Williams, Brittany Scanlon, Stephanie Scanlon, Sara Farney, Courtney Runte’, Evan Richardson, Ciara Sibbick, Brittani Worden, Jenna Mallek, Tahni Carver, Ethan Merryweather, Christopher Adams and Lisa Sansbury.
A resolution declaring June as Recreational Vehicle and Camping Month was recently signed by Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet. The proclamation is in conjunction with the national RV Centennial Celebration taking place in Elkhart, Ind., and was initiated by both the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) and the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (FlaARVC).
“It was great to be able to speak to the Florida Cabinet and thank them for the resolution,” said FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson. “We thought the resolution was a great way to kick off our promotion of the 100-year anniversary of the industry.”
FRVTA will have displays at the three interstate Welcome Centers the week of June 7 to correspond with the national celebration in Elkhart. The Tin Can Tourists RV club will have ‘antique’ RVs on display and there will be free drinks and popcorn for all travelers.
The resolution reads:
WHEREAS, the recreation vehicle industry is celebrating 100 years of American enjoyment of recreation vehicles, and;
WHEREAS, 1 in 12 American homes own a recreation vehicle, and;
WHEREAS, recreational vehicles allow families to build stronger relationships and explore the great outdoors, and;
WHEREAS, travel in an recreational vehicle offers freedom, comfort and flexibility to see all of the United States, from historic landmarks to national and state parks, and;
WHEREAS, Florida ranks third in the number of recreational vehicles shipments and is home to the largest recreational vehicle show in the nation, the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, and;
WHEREAS, the State of Florida has more than 900 licensed recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, with more than 120,000 licensed recreational vehicle sites, and;
WHEREAS, the State of Florida constantly ranks as the nation’s best and most popular recreational vehicle and camping destination, and;
WHEREAS, more than 5 million people camp in Florida each year, generating more than $5 billion for the state’s economy, and;
WHEREAS, 20 percent of all auto visitors to Florida either camp or travel in a recreational vehicle, and;
WHEREAS, the 100th Anniversary of the introduction of the RV into the American marketplace will be celebrated June 7, 2010 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida do hereby proclaim June, 2010 as
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE AND CAMPING MONTH
In the State of Florida and encourage Floridians and visitors to take advantage of our great State’s array of sun, surf, soft breezes and fresh air where the temperate climate allows for year-round camping and endless outdoor activities.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee this 11th day of May, 2010.
For more information about the 100th Anniversary of the RV Industry and other events, contact Dave Kelly, FRVTA Marketing Director at (800) 330-7882 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendance at the bellwether Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa that ended Sunday (Jan. 17) increased 12% over last year, despite questionable weather on the last day of the show’s five-day run.
”The show was very, very upbeat,” said Lance Wilson, executive director of the sponsoring Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association (FRVTA). ”The weather was iffy on Sunday, but the dealers we talked to all said the same thing — that they didn’t hear any negative talk at all. People weren’t complaining about the economy or gas prices. They were just happy to be there.”
Some 50,753 people passed through the gates of the Florida State Fairgrounds Wednesday (Jan. 13) through Sunday.
”We had a nice increase (in sales) from last year,” said Ken Stumpe, Florida Show sales manager for Lazydays RV SuperCenter in nearby Seffner, Fla., ”There was a lot more traffic than last year. It was a totally different atmosphere. A lot of people said they were tired of waiting.”
Camping World RV Sales, which had a dozen displays at the show, sold 179 units, 37 of them Damon and Four Winds motorized RVs, according to President Marcus Lemonis.
Increased attendance at the Florida Show generally mirrored that of other early 2010 shows in Denver, Cleveland, the Washington, D.C., area and Greensboro, N.C.
“Seeing all the aisles full and the dealers not being able to handle all the customers is great,” said Tom Gaither, senior vice president of Affinity Group Inc.’s Affinity Events division.
Gaither reported positive attendance results at three U.s. shows that his organization operates:
- The 20th Annual Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show Jan. 13-16 in Denver increased 26% compared to 2009.
- The 21st Annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show Jan. 8-10 in Greensboro was up 1%.
- The 24th Annual Washington Camping RV Expo in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Chantilly, Va., increased a startling 154%.
”Just the fact that attendance was up tells me that people are looking for RVs and want to go camping,” Gaither said.
Elsewhere, the 34th Annual Ohio Supershow Jan. 6-10, sponsored by the Great Lakes Recreation Vehicle Association, saw a 30% increase in attendance.
”It was one of the best shows in 34 years,” said Great Lakes President Bruce Wolfson. ”It was a great start to the year. People were very upbeat, so the dealers were upbeat because of it.”
Bob Moore, co-owner of Moores’ RV, North Ridgeville, Ohio, said this year’s Ohio Show was the best he’d had in three years.
”The public’s attitude is improving,” Moore said. ”People came in in much better spirits and were much more interested in buying. Their level of creditworthiness and their willingness to put money down was up substantially. That has made us very optimistic about how things are going to go for the summer.”
Not all reports were upbeat, however.
At the Tarrant County RV Show Jan. 7-10 in Fort Worth, Texas, attendance wasn’t quite as strong as last year, said show director Pat Hahn.
Considering below-freezing temperatures for four days before the show and competition from a Dallas Cowboy’s playoff football game, ”I was very pleased with attendance,” she said. ”It was almost as good as last year and last year’s show was terrific.”
Stacy Rist, general manager of Bennett’s Camping Center, a towable dealer in Granbury, Texas, said that while sales at the Fort Worth show weren’t strong, the dealership got a lot of leads.
”There was lots of traffic, but nobody was turning lose of any of their money,” Rist said. ”We might not be over the hump yet. I’m not completely disappointed, but the days of the impulse buyer are gone. You have to work hard for each sale.”
Turnout for a pair of regional RV shows held during the Nov. 5-8 weekend by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) was up dramatically, yet another indicator that the Great Recession of 2009 may finally be ebbing.
According to FRVTA officials, the Tampa Bay RV Show and the West Palm Beach Fall RV Shows both drew crowds larger than last year’s shows.
“We’re extremely encouraged by the turnout at both of these shows,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “With our busy season just beginning, we’re hoping this is a sign of things to come with the Florida RV SuperShow and all our winter regional shows.”
The Tampa Bay RV Show, held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, drew more than 5,800 people during the four-day event, making it the best-attended show since 2006.
“We had a great show,” said Ryan Hollan of Harberson RV. “I was surprised at the number of families that came to the show. I think we’ve tapped into a new market besides just the retirees. And most of our deals didn’t involve a trade-in, so we know were also getting the first-time buyers as well.”
Across the state on the east coast, the West Palm Beach Fall RV Show was also up compared to last year with just under 3,200 visitors. Despite high winds and cloudy skies, dealers reported that people “came to shop” to the event held at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
“There were a lot of people with cameras and note pads,” commented FRVTA Director Lance Wilson. “We also had a lot of families over the weekend, so I know the dealers were happy — and I’m sure they will see a lot of these people back on their lots.”
The next show on the FRVTA calendar is the 2010 Florida RV SuperShow, January 12 (Trade Day) and January 13-17 (Public Days). For more information about the SuperShow or the other FRVTA regional shows visit www.frvta.org or call (813) 741-0488.