Despite cold temperatures, a record number of people — 12,912 to be exact — walked through the gates Wednesday (Jan. 12) for the opening day of the 26th Annual 2011 Florida RV Supershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa Fla.
And early sales matched the crowd, according to several manufacturers who spoke to RVBUSINESS.com this morning.
”We’re doing fantastic,” said Ed Kinney, vice president of sales and marketing for Carriage Inc., Millersburg, Ind., ”We had record sales. If I told you the numbers, you’d call me a liar.”
”It was a slow start today (Thursday) because it was cold,” said Lance Wilson, executive director of the sponsoring Florida RV Trade Association. ”It was in the 30s this morning, but things picked up. People are here now and the sun is out. The only thing that keeps people away is rain, and we don’t have any of that.”
Wilson reported that the final count had 1,065 coaches on display at the show.
In addition to Carriage, other manufacturers also reported brisk sales early on in the show, which runs through Sunday.
”It’s a buying crowd,” said C. David Hoefer, chairman of Earthbound RV LLC, Marion, Ind. ”We had our first sale an hour after the show started on Wednesday.”
”The traffic is not only good in terms of quantity, but it’s quality traffic,” said John Sammut, Newmar Inc. vice president of sales and marketing. ”We had a good day yesterday selling several motorized units — both gas and diesel.”
Opening day, during which senior citizens received a discount, was capped by a FRVTA-sponsored dinner on the fairgrounds attended by about 800 people representing manufactuers and suppliers, who dined on roast beef, shrimp and key lime pie.
Show organizers expect more than 50,000 people to attend the show through Sunday. Last year’s attendance was 50,753.
Motorized manufacturer Newmar Inc., Nappanee, Ind., for the 2011 model year has redesigned the luxury Mountain Aire diesel pusher motorhome built on 34,600- or 46,000-pound GVWR Spartan Mountain Master chassis powered by a 425-hp Cummins ISL engine. Available in six 40- to 43-foot floorplans, the redsigned Mountain Aire, introduced last week at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show, includes new front and rear caps with an integrated spoiler, framless double-pane windows, integrated power awnings, coffered ceilings, halogen lighting porcelain floors, solid-wood hand-glazed cabinets, Mystera countertops and NewPlex multiplex wiring system that includes timed cockpit ceiling lights. MSRP: $406,695.