The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada has published its economic review for 2010.
This review, for members only, analyzes the factors at play in Canada’s economy in 2010 as they pertain to the retail RV landscape, as well as what to expect for this year, according to an RVDA of Canada memo to members.
The annual economic review is intended to deliver a comprehensive look at the economic indicators affecting the RV industry in Canada in the past year. In addition to the annual review, we will also be releasing future quarterly economic forecasts. These reports are intended to provide you with current economic information, which can assist you in gaining insights into the changing economic dimensions of the RV industry and the economy at large.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada has issued its revised show schedule for the rest of 2011 and 2012. All shows are open to the public.
Following is the revised list:
- Kitchener RV Show, April 1-3, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (The Aud), Kitchener, Ontario; Contact: Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.rvshowkitchener.ca.
- Toronto Fall RV Show, Oct. 29-31; Toronto Congress Center, Toronto, Ontario; Contact Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; email: email@example.com; www.torontofallrvshow.ca.
- Toronto RV Show, Jan. 19-22, Toronto Congress Center, Toronto, Ontario; Contact: Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.rvshowtoronto.ca.
- 43rd Annual Calgary RV Exposition & Sale, Jan. 26-29; BMO Center, Calgary, Alberta; Contact Dan Merkowsky, (888) 858-8787; email email@example.com; www.rvda-alberta.org/rvshows.asp/.
- Halifax RV Show, Jan. 26-29, Exhibition Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Contact Scott Sprague, (888) 454-7469; www.arvda.ca.
- Hamilton RV & Camping Show, Feb. 305, Careport Center, Hamilton, Ontario; Contact Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.rvshowhamilton.ca.
- 32nd Annual Edmonton RV Exposition and Sale, Feb. 9-12, Edmonton Expo Center, Edmonton, Alberta; Contact: Dan Merkowsky, (888) 858-8787; email email@example.com; www.rvda-alberta.org/rvshows.asp.
- Toronto International Centre RV Show, March 1-4, Toronto International Center, Toronto, Ontario; Contact: Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.torontointernationalrvshow.ca.
- Red Deer RV Show, March 1-5, Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta; Contact: Marty Veller, (800) 242-2593; E-mail: email@example.com.
- Moncton RV Show, March 2-4, Moncton Coliseum Complex, Moncton, New Brunswick; Contact: Scott Sprague, (888) 454-7469; www.arvda.ca.
- Windsor RV Show, March 2-4, Windsor Expo Center, Windsor, Ontario; Contact: (888) 331-8885; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.rvshowwindsor.ca.
- Central Alberta RV Show & Sale, March 8-11, Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta; Contact: Todd Plotnikoff (403) 356-9399; email@example.com.
- Manitoba RV Show and Sale, March 8-11, Winnipeg Convention Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Contact: Jim Flood, (204) 452-1227.
- Montreal RV Show, March 8-12, Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec; Contact: Serge Villemure (514) 338-1471; www.salonvr.com.
- Quebec City RV Show, March 29-April 1, Centre de foires, Quebec, Quebec; Contact: Serge Villemure (514) 338-1471; www.salonvr.com
- Kitchener RV Show, March 30 – April 1, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (The Aud), Kitchener, Ontario; Contact: Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.rvshowkitchener.ca.
- Toronto Fall RV Show, Oct. 26-28, Toronto Congress Center, Toronto, Ontario; Contact: Larry Boyd, (888) 331-8885; Email: email@example.com; Website: www.torontofallrvshow.ca.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada announced a new partnership with Acklands-Grainger (AGI) to provide members with a new national member benefit program.
Acklands-Grainger is Canada’s largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products.
With 170 branch locations and five distribution centers across Canada, customer needs can be easily met, RVDA of Canada stated in a news release. Acklands-Grainger provides a broad array of products in very competitive prices in the following maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) categories.
RVDA of Canada has negotiated on on behalf of its members two levels of pricing: customer specific pricing and catalog discount. The customer specific pricing focuses on core high volume items. Acklands-Grainger has developed this preliminary list in consultation with RVDA of Canada’s Program Development committee.
Items will continue to be added to this level of pricing as collective purchase volumes increase. Any items purchased in large volumes or frequency will also be added to benefit the overall program. The catalog discounts are items that are not captured under customer specific pricing and are eligible for a 10% discount. Inventory at each branch location is tailored specifically to the local market.
To view a complete list of products available, browse the catalog online at www.acklandsgrainger.com or visit a local branch.
Once an account is set up, items that qualify for the two discount levels mentioned above will be viewable. By setting up an account, inventory management solutions and customized billing processes can be implemented right away. Inventory management solutions include: vendor managed inventory, bar coding, on-site service and automated dispensing.
To sign up for an account and start taking advantage of the convenience of one-stop shopping and competitive pricing, complete the credit application form and forward to the completed application to Acklands-Grainger head office by fax at (905) 731-8151.
For complete details on this program, contact National Account Manager Harman Nijjar, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (604) 571-6340.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada reports progress in lightening the restrictions on doing business in Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with the Rob Moore, minister of state for small business and tourism, has announced consultations, as part of the Red Tape Reduction Commission, on ways to reduce the burden of complying with federal regulatory requirements, Eleonore Hamm president, stated in a memo to members.
“An online consultation is taking place, in order to allow for a wide range of Canadians in the business community to provide input to the commission, and help the government identify irritants and lasting ways to fix them,” Hamm stated in the memo. “The commission will make its recommendations to the government in the fall of 2011.”
The Red Tape Reduction Commission has been created with the following mandate:
- Identify irritants to business that stem from federal regulatory requirements and review how those requirements are administered in order to reduce the compliance burden on businesses, especially small businesses. The focus is on irritants that have a clear detrimental effect on growth, competitiveness and innovation.
- Recommend options that address the irritants and that will control and reduce the compliance burden on a long-term basis while ensuring that the environment and the health and safety of Canadians are not compromised in the process.
She continued, “On behalf of the RV industry, the RVDA of Canada has prepared a written brief, which has been submitted to the commission. As an RVDA of Canada member, we are urging you to make your voice heard, and tell your story by also submitting a response. By personalizing your response, this will enable political leaders to better understand this key red tape burden facing the industry and why an amendment is needed.”
Hamm encouraged members to visit the “Government Relations/Advocacy Initiatives” link on the member side of www.rvda.ca to view the RVDA of Canada’s official submission. Members may contact the national office if they need a reminder of their User ID and password.
To make a submission, members may visit http://www.reduceredtape.gc.ca/how-comment/how-comment-eng.asp. The online consultations will close on April 22.
For more information contact Hamm at (604) 718-6325 or email@example.com.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) is encourgaing its members to spruce up their exhibits for this winter’s RV retail shows.
Each year, in late winter, provincial and regional RVDAs organize RV retail shows for their members. Many hold a contest for the Best Bulk Booth at each show, the national association notes in its current member newsletter, The RVDA of Canada Bulletin.
The RVDA of Canada awards the National Best Bulk Booth Award to the member dealer who has been determined to have the most distinctive, best-planned and best-dressed bulk booth among the provincial/regional winners.
The 2010 winner was Rangeland RV & Trailer Sales, Balzac, Alberta.
The board of the RVDA of Canada chooses the national winner at its April board meeting, with the winner:
- Noted in the national newsletter.
- Awarded a plaque in honor of the achievement.
- Winning one free primary delegate registration to the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.
Bulk space is defined as a booth over 1,000 square feet.
RVDA of Canada members should check with their provincial/regional RVDA for local information on shows and judging.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada is now more focused on advocacy than ever before.
“In the RVDA of Canada’s continued advocacy efforts, our goal is to advance and resolve issues of concern to our members, and keep them informed of government policies and priorities,” the association states in its current newsletter.
“In order to ensure our lobbying efforts best represent member concerns, we are launching a new National Member Advocacy Survey. The purpose of this survey is to gain important feedback with respect to your priorities on the advocacy front in Ottawa,” the association continued.
Survey results will play an important role in helping to shape RVDA of Canada’s key messages for the Government Relations Day in April.
The following is a brief list of issues that the RVDA of Canada feels are important. It is asking members to rank these issues from 1 to 7, with 1 being the most important issue to 7 being the least important issue:
- Equitable treatment on the sale of used RVs.
- Continuing initiatives to help reduce the tax and regulatory burden on small- and medium-sized businesses.
- The need for RV-friendly signage.
- Increased investment in Canada’s tourism policies to support the RV industry.
- Cross-border issues, including provisions to allow RVs to use the commercial inspection lanes to accommodate the larger size of the vehicle; and initiatives to ensure that RVs purchased across the border receive a safety check.
- Upgrading Canada’s federal parks’ ability to handle modern RVs in campgrounds.
- Regulatory issues within the RV industry, specifically with regards to obtaining countrywide certification for RVs.
Results are due in by Feb. 14.
RVDA of Canada has partnered with Okanagan College to offer recreation vehicle technician upgrade courses online.
All courses will be conducted online exclusively, RVDA of Canada noted in a recent e-mail. To be eligible for a certificate of completion, students must complete five mandatory courses and four (out of nine) optional courses. Classes are typically held two evenings per week. Class size is limited to a maximum of 15 dealerships with one instructor. The virtual classroom will be very interactive and the instructor will be available to students via phone or e-mail outside of class hours.
Pricing per course includes registration for up to three students per dealership location. All students are required to have passed grade 11 math and English or to write a proficiency exam.
Recreation Vehicle electrical systems starts on Jan. 11.
Recreation Vehicle appliance systems starts on Feb. 22.
Return complete registrations to Nancy Ankerstein by fax at (250) 862-5469 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For technical questions, please contact Al Cohoe at Okanagan College by phone (250) 762-5445 ext. 4488 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: RVDA of Canada Chairman Alden Kowarsky wrote the accompanying piece on the value of bilingualism in the RV industry. His comments appear in the current issue of the RVDA of Canada newsletter.
Alden Kowarsky, chairman of the board of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers of Canada (RVDA of Canada) and president of Alco VR in Laval, Quebec, is appealing for aid to a cause that he is involved in and which he holds dear.
Funds are being collected to support the synagogue Young Israël of Chomedey which has had to undertake significant repairs following vandalism which caused sizeable damage to the building and land, according to a mailing that has gone out to RVDA of Canada members.
A statement on the synagogue’s website from Rabbi Gewirtz contains this additional information:
On October 6th someone took our garden hose, placed it in our oil pipe, and let it run all night. 3,200 litres of water forced all 2,300 litres of oil out of our tanks and onto our back lawn. We now have an extensive area of contaminated soil that must be cleaned up quickly before it spreads even more.
At this point, we have been informed that our insurance policy only covers a maximum claim of $25,000 for polluted soil and that all other costs related to our removal of this earth must be at our own expense.Conservative estimates so far, assuming the oil hasn’t penetrated under our foundation which would truly be even more disastrous, have been made to the tune of $65,000 above our insurance coverage. It could even go higher once the soil is tested, most likely in the coming week.
The RVDA of Canada e-mail said any donations can be made directly to Young Israel of Chomedey, 1025 Elizabeth Blvd., Chomedey, Laval, Quebec H7W 3J7. Please note on the check, “For the Vandalism Campaign Fund.”
For further details, click here
Daniel Morin, together with his wife Thérèse, had a dream when he took over the reins of Roulottes Desjardins in St-Jerome, Quebec, 41 years ago. His 25 years of experience in the automobile industry, where he had climbed the ladder as a mechanic, foreman, department manager and finally sales manager, was a springboard to acquiring a solid foundation for starting up the business that became Roulottes Desjardins.
That dream propelled him to recognition on Nov. 29 as 2010 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year awarded by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada). The award was presented during the 2010 Canada Night Dinner held in Louisville, Ky., on the eve of the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show.
Morin was very moved as his name was called and he graciously accepted his award while surrounded by family and friends, according to a news release.
“Thank you very much for this honor. This is truly an incredible industry and I am very fortunate be a part of it,” said Morin, as Norm Rosen, from RV Lifestyle Magazine, presented him with the Walter Paseska Memorial Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.
Morin started with a small dealership located in a mobile home, with only three units on the lot. Today, his dealership inventories more than 250 units and has five service bays. Throughout his stellar career, he has always shown implacable thoroughness and unparalleled concern for a job well done and exceptional customer service. Morin has kept pace with the industry’s evolution and adapted his dealership to stay in tune with economic trends of the day. This has always let him adjust his product lines and dealership focus in order to position his company among the best. His go-getting personality, his expertise and his openness make him a respected figure in the RV industry.
His generous nature and entrepreneurial spirit led him to get involved in founding the Association des commerçants de véhicules récréatifs du Québec/RVDA of Quebec. He has served numerous terms as a director on the provincial board and is a past president of the RVDA of Canada. Morin also served on the Go RVing Canada board for many years. These involvements allowed him to transmit and apply his knowledge to ensure the growth of this industry’s different sectors.
Morin has been so successful at transmitting his passion that his children have also chosen a career in the RV industry and currently work at his 2 dealerships.
Morin and his team also support their community in numerous ways. Every year, he subsidizes and contributes to several campgrounds in the Laurentian region so that outdoor enthusiasts can continue to benefit and enjoy the great RV and Camping lifestyle. Roulottes Desjardins also contributes financially to organizations such as: Fondation de l’hôtel Dieu St-Jérôme et la Fondation Charles Bruneau.
Along with our winner, the nominees for this year’s award were:
- Craig Anstead of Paradise RV, Red Deer County, Alberta.
- Kevin Betzold of GNR Camping World, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Henry Epp of Country RV, Kelowna, British Columbia.
- Ron Hall of Eldorado RV, Lethbridge, Alberta.
- David McKee of The Hitch House, Shanty Bay, Ontario.
Each year, the RVDA of Canada, in conjunction with RV Lifestyle Magazine and Dealer News, invites nominations from across Canada for the Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award. The award is dedicated to the memory of the late Walt Paseska, founder of Walt’s Trailer Sales in Headingley, Manitoba, in recognition of his many years of commitment and dedication to the RV industry. Since established in 1989 by Camping Canada Magazine, this award has been presented to individuals who share Walt’s enthusiasm and commitment, in recognition of their long-term contribution to the RV lifestyle, and commitment to the community as a whole.
The award is presented to a candidate who has:
- Demonstrated long-term dedication to the RV industry and promotion of the RV lifestyle by the acting dealer principal of a recognized full service RV dealership
- Shown commitment and participation in the RVDA at the provincial or national level;
- Been recognized by customers and peers as a person with the highest integrity and credibility in both work and personal life, and
- Made a contribution to their community.
Following are highlights of some of the developments announced at or reported to RVBUSINESS.com during this week’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
RVIA Releases 3 Videos
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association has released three new videos in conjunction with the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show underway this week in Louisville, Ky. One of the videos new appears on the RVBUSINESS.com homepage.
RVIA Welcomes Chinese Delegation
A delegation sponsored by the Department of Commerce in Beijing, China, is visiting the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show today and Wednesday in Louisville, Ky.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will host a reception for the Chinese delegation tonight at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The Chinese will be meeting with U.S. vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. Tables have been set up and five interpreters have been hired to assist the attendees communicate with each other.
Some members of the delegation will be visiting the RV/MH Hall of Fame on Thursday in Elkhart, Ind., and visiting one or more RV plants.
RVIA President Richard Coon said there is great potential for the RV industry to enter China. Coon said the Chinese consumers have more disposable income and leisure time than ever before and are interested in learning more about the RV lifestyle.
Newmar Adds MCD Innovations Shades
MCD Innovations announced that Newmar Corp. is installing MCD shades in their 2011 Dutch Star and newly redesigned 2011 Ventana models. The windshield and driver/passenger shades in the Ventana replace the visors and curtains that have been installed in the past. The Dutch Star model also includes the cockpit shade system. In addition, American Duo house shades are available for these models.
Also used in both coaches on the driver’s side window is the innovative, patent-pending MCD SwayShade, the unique roller shade configuration that travels forward as it is pulled down so as to cover the lower front corner of the driver’s window, which a normal shade cannot do. Newmar specified this unique shade for both the Ventana and Dutch Star.
“With Newmar’s high standard of craftsmanship and their ability to lead the industry with their innovative products, we are pleased that they have selected the American Duo Shade System for two of their most popular coaches,” said MCD Innovations CEO Dave Townsley. “ We look forward to working with Newmar and providing their customers the best the industry has to offer in solar protection, outward visibility and privacy.”
“Newmar is constantly looking to partner with the best Suppliers in the Industry to provide our discerning customers with the quality products that they deserve in their motorhome. MCD American Duo Shades will be a valued addition to our Dutch Star and Ventana Diesel Brands,” said Kyle McCrary, director of luxury motorhomes and product design at Newmar Corp.
Accidents Hamper Show Traffic
Multiple accidents on Interstate 65 southbound near Eastern Parkway just north of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., site of this week’s National RV Trade Show, have closed two lanes this morning, a MetroSafe Communications supervisor told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
There were reports of injuries, but the supervisor did not know the severity or how many people were injured. A Trimarc incident report said six vehicles were involved.
All southbound lanes were closed for about an hour after one accident was reported about 5:40 a.m., but the two left lanes were re-opened just before 7 a.m.
No further details were immediately available.
Morin Named Canadian Dealer of the Year
Daniel Morin, owner of Roulottes Desjardins, St-Jerome, Quebec, was named Canadian RV Dealer of the Year by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers of Canada (RVDA of Canada).
Morin’s award was announced and presented Monday night (Nov. 29) during the Canada Night Dinner held at the Galt House in Louisville. Morin is a 41-year veteran of the RV industry. He was a founding member of the RVDA of Quebec, past chairman of the RVDA of Canada and past director of Go RVing Canada board.
Thor Falls Short of Analysts’ Forecasts
Thor Industries Inc. fell short of profit forecasts provided by Wall Street analysts who follow the giant RV company.
Thor said Monday its fiscal first-quarter profit edged higher amid a 21% jump in revenue, Businessweek reported.
The company reported net income of $23.7 million, or 44 cents a share, for the three months ended Oct. 31. That compares with net income of $23.4 million, or 42 cents a share, in the prior-year quarter.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 54 cents a share, on average.
Revenue increased to $606.7 million from $502.6 million a year earlier.
Thor said RV sales rose 30 percent versus the same quarter last year, while bus segment sales declined 11 percent.
Peter Orthwein, Thor’s chairman, said gross margins were affected by increased discounting as dealers remained cautious entering the slowest season of the year.
Shares in Thor Industries rose 14 cents to $33.78 in aftermarket trading after falling 91 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $33.64 during the regular session.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) will hold its annual “Canada Night Dinner” tonight in Louisville, Ky., on the eve of the opening of the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show.
The event will be held in the Galt House Hotel. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. dinner at 7:30 p.m.
RVDA of Canada’s Dealer of the Year will be announced at this event.
The nominees are:
- Craig Anstead of Paradise RV, Red Deer County, Alberta.
- Kevin Betzold of GNR Camping World, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Henry Epp of Country RV in Kelowna, British Columbia.
- Ron Hall of Eldorado RV, Lethbridge, Alberta.
- David McKee of The Hitch House, Shanty Bay, Ontario.
- Daniel Morin of Roulottes Desjardins, St-Jérôme, Quebec.
The winner is chosen by the Award Committee, which is composed of the five previous winners and a representative from RV Lifestyle magazine – sponsor of the award.
Event sponsors are:
- Federated Insurance Company of Canada.
- Atlas Trailer Coach Products.
- Aviva Elite Insurance Co.
- Coach-Net Technical & Roadside Assistance.
- Coast Distribution System Inc., Canada.
- EPA Ultimate Concepts Inc.
- First Canadian Insurance Corp.
- GE Commercial Distribution Finance Canada.
- KZ RV LP.
- Northern Lite Mfg. Ltd.
- RBC Royal Bank.
- SAL Group – Industrial Alliance Pacific.
- Statistical Surveys Inc.
Go RVing Canada has concluded its Top 11 Spots to Go RVing in Canada promotion, which commemorated each province’s top destination to Go RVing.
The winning regions were selected by hundreds of submissions received by Canadian travelers through Go RVing Canada’s recent Top 100 Spots to RV in Canada Centennial Contest.
This past July, Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), launched the month-long contest in honor of the RV Centennial. This contest engaged RV enthusiasts from across Canada, encouraging them to submit their favourite spot to RV in the country for a chance to win an Apple iPad.
“These top Canadian RV destinations definitely earned their votes,” says Go RVing Canada Spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “This contest has made us realize how lucky we are as Canadians to have unlimited access to such beautiful sites. We are positive this event has inspired people to go on their own RV adventures and explore our amazing country for themselves!”
The Top 11 spots to RV in Canada are:
- Kluane Lake, Yukon
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia
- Banff National Park, Alberta
- Douglas Provincial Park, Saskatchewan
- Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba
- Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
- Gaspésie, Québec
- The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
- Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
- Twin Shores Camping Area, Prince Edward Island
- Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
For more information on RVing and the RV lifestyle, visit www.GoRVing.ca.
Longtime RV dealer and industry advocate Alden Kowarsky was elected new chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA Canada) during the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo Oct. 4-8 in Las Vegas.
President of Alco RV in Laval, Quebec, Kowarsky has been in the RV industry for more than 30 years. He started his career by joining his parents, Gerald and Rhoda, at the dealership — which initially was the first tent-trailer manufacturer in Quebec before becoming a retail enterprise in 1965 — in 1978. In 2006, Kowarsky purchased a large piece of land in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal, and built the largest RV center in Laval. He currently oversees the entire dealership’s operations and general management.
“It is a sincere honor to have been elected as the new chairman of the Board of the RVDA of Canada,” said Kowarsky. “It has truly been a goal of mine to be able to represent my fellow peers at the national level and I am grateful for the trust and confidence that they have placed in me and the entire national board.”
Joining Kowarsky as RVDA Canada officers for the 2010-2011 year are:
- Vice Chairman Garth Bromley, Transcona Trailer Sales, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Treasurer Ian Moore, Big Boys Toys, Nanoose Bay, Britsh Columbia
- Past Chairman Kim Stone, Stone’s RV and Home Centre, Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Registrations for the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo are up about 10% overall and 12% for Canadian dealers, according to organizers of the event that runs through Friday (Oct. 8) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
”Registrations look great,” said Eleonore Hamm, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA Canada). ”We have a few more dealerships than last year.”
Some 500 people are expected to attend the con/expo during which RVBusiness magazine (and RVBUSINESS.com) will host its 3rd Annual RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards tonight (Oct. 6) with a reception and dinner at the Rio hosted by Affinity Group Inc. President & CEO Mike Schneider and keynoted by conservative political commentator and author Ann Coulter.
While the award eligibility has been expanded this year to include recreational park model dealers, the format will include five Blue Ribbon retailers and one individual receiving the Dave Altman Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year’s con/expo is focusing on business processes designed to help dealerships coming out of the economic downturn.
”People are getting out of the survival mode, but everybody still needs to watch revenues and expenses, and that’s what we are going to be talking about in many of the workshops,” said Phil Ingrassia, vice president of communication for the U.S.-based Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). ”This convention is focused on helping dealers focus on management in all areas of the dealership.”
Most ”Partners in Progress” brand committees made up of dealers who sell specific manufacturers’ brands met Monday and Tuesday and got an early look at the results of the RVDA’s Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) that is comprised from ratings surveys completed by retailers.
Aggregate DSI results will be distributed later with DSI awards being presented at the 47th Annual RV Trade Show Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. ”We moved up the release of the DSI results so that the brand committees could use them in their meetings with manufacturers,” Ingrassia said.
The five-day gathering, which marks RVDA’s 40th anniversary, will offer about 50 seminars and workshops on subjects that include the RV industry’s immediate future, F&I, employee education, wholesale financing, the use of social media, parts and service and RV rentals. The expo which opened Tuesday night has more than 100 exhibitors,
Dirk Kempthorne, former secretary of the Interior who drove to Las Vegas in his own motorhome, was the keynote speaker Tuesday during the con/expo’s first general session.
RVDA and RVDA of Canada will hold their annual meetings Thursday morning.