The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Kentucky Exposition Center sponsored a brief party on Wednesday afternoon recognizing the RVIA’s 50th annual show.
RVIA President Richard Coon and Harold Workman, CEO of the host Kentucky Exposition center, each made brief remarks.
Coon’s remarks follow:
“Fifty years is a long time to do anything. And much has changed in the world.
In 1962, a gallon of gas cost 28 cents, the average income was $5,500, and an average house cost $12,500.
There were some notable “firsts” in 1962. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. The first Walmart opened. The first Beatles single — ‘Love Me Do’ — was released.
And, the RV industry held its first show here in Louisville.
While much has changed in the world, it has been good to be able to count on some things that have endured. Each year — in good times and bad — our industry has gathered here in Louisville. We have enjoyed the hard work and friendship of the people of Louisville, and I’d like to thank the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau for your hospitality through the years. You’ve been fantastic partners.
The reason our industry has been able to flourish and endure through the decades is that while society is changing, core human values remain the same. As long as there are people, they’ll want to get outdoors and spend time with family and friends. RVs offer a great way to do that — one with unmatched comfort, flexibility and value.
Thank you again for joining our celebration. And let’s all do what we can to assure that in 2062, our descendants are celebrating the 100th annual National RV Show.”
Guests shared 50th anniversary cupcakes and light beverages afterward.
RV manufacturers have requested about 35% less space for the upcoming National RV Trade Show Dec. 1-3 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., than they did last year.
Given the economic setebacks of the last 16 months, that shouldn’t come as any surprise to most industry observers.
“At this point, it appears that most of the show will fit in the KEC’s South Hall, East Hall and North Wing,” said Mary ”Mike” Hutya, RVIA vice president for meetings and shows. ”It will depend on how much space I give back to the Expo Center. I will hold on to some space so that we can accommodate late-comers.”
Sixty-one manufacturers have requested 520,000 square feet of space in the cavernous exposition center. Last year, RV manufacturers occupied about 800,000 square feet. ”We are drawing the floor plan based on those requests,” Hutya said.
She said the 35% drop in space requests represented the ”worst-case scenario” for RVIA planners, but that other manufacturers may be accommodated, despite the March 23 deadline reservations that has passed.
Even if some of the KEC’s West Wing is used, show space will not include Broadbent Area where recreational park trailer manufactures have displayed their product in recent years. ”I don’t know at this time if we will have them (park models) in a separate area of whether we will mix them in with RV manufacturers,” Hutya said.
Invitations to suppliers for booth space will go out in June with a return deadline of July 2.