Today’s Video #3 is courtesy of KUSA-TV, Denver.
Drive up and down the highway this time of year and you’ll see roads packed with campers and motorhomes that are loaded with posh upholstery and state-of-the-art electronics.
Despite the struggling economy and rising gas prices, at least one Denver area dealer has seen sales remain strong. Windish RV reports that sales are up 25%.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), a trade group for the nation’s RV dealers based in Reston, Va., points to several factors that could help the industry grow, including:
- RV owners save on travel. According to the 2008 PKF Vacation Cost comparison study, a family of four saves 27% to 61% on vacation costs by traveling in an RV, despite ownership costs and fuel costs.
- RV sales are expected to benefit as more aging Baby Boomers reach retirement and chose to travel by RV.
- RVs are becoming more attractive to buyers between ages 18 to 34. Advertising campaigns, such as one launched at gorving.com, have drawn a different audience for the industry.
RV enthusiasts turned out in better than expected numbers last week at the 20th Annual Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show as well as the 24th Annual Washington Camping RV Expo, sponsored by GEICO, according to a press release.
The shows rolled into Denver and Chantilly last week, filling the respective venues with new 2010 Class A, B and C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, toy haulers, truck campers and tent trailers, as well as campgrounds, RV and camping accessories and entertainment.
Both shows reported strong sales and significantly increased attendance over 2009 – a 28% increase in Denver and 65% increase in Chantilly – leading many to question if the recession had indeed abated.
According to Dianne Seymour, show manager of the Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show, “Attendees were lining up at the doors each morning, and we had quite a crowd that stayed until the show’s end every night. People were clearly excited about the RV lifestyle and eager to see what the dealers and exhibitors were offering.”
Jim Humble, general manager of Windish RV, said, “It was a fantastic show. This year, we sold double the units we sold last year. This was a quality crowd that was here to buy. We are just thrilled.”
Chris Sach of RV America concurred, “The show absolutely exceeded our expectations. Sales were very strong and we sold a lot of units, many more than last year. Sales of high-end fifth-wheels were especially strong.”
Numbers at the Washington Camping RV Expo were at an all-time high. Thom Beckley, of Endless Summer RV, marveled, “The crowd on Friday was phenomenal as far as number of attendees. At one point, we had 35 people inside one of our RVs with another 30-40 lined up outside, and that is something we don’t typically see. This definitely looks good for the upcoming season.”
Jeff Haughton, Eastern vice president, regional manager of Affinity Events, added, “We are very excited to see large crowds at these early shows. This demonstrates that there is a solid demand in RVs for 2010.”
Affinity Events will welcome RV enthusiasts to get ready for the great outdoors with upcoming RV shows in Edison, N.J.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Charlotte, N.C.; Providence, R.I.; and Raleigh, N.C. These shows will feature a variety of RVs, campground information and accessories along with expert advice and entertainment.
Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) is the parent company of Affinity Events and RVBUSINESS.com.
The 5th annual Colorado RV Liquidation Super Sale boasted a record number of RV sales during the two-day event. Held last weekend at Invesco Field in Denver, there were more than 100 RV units sold.
The low prices on new and pre-owned RVs along with discounts on recently hail-damaged units and special tax deductions for qualified buyers brought thousands of attendees to the super sale, according to a news release.
“With eight of Denver’s top dealers participating in the event, we were able to showcase a vast selection of RV models to attract a myriad of interested buyers,” said Dianne Seymour, show manager. “With all the discouraging news we are seeing about the economy, we were excited to have so many people come to the sale intent on making a purchase. It was great to see the dealers do so well — in fact, all dealers reported better-than-expected sales.”
Jim Humble, general manager of Windish RV, reported selling 40 units at the show.
“Our sales were up 20% over last year’s sale,” he said. “The general public is responding well to this fall sales opportunity. It has become an integral part of our fall marketing plan.”
Humble wasn’t the only dealer who did well. Joe Lake, a field manager with K&C RV, reported selling more than 20 units, and Steve Casement, owner of Steve Casey’s Recreational Sales, sold more than 10 units.
The show is sponsored by Affinity Events, is a division of Affinity Group Inc. which also publishes RVBusiness and RVBUSINESS.COM.
A main reason for the sale’s success is “the ability of Affinity to directly market to the RV enthusiast,” said Jeff Haughton, former owner of the liquidation sale and current vice president of Affinity Events. “Affinity is uniquely able to drive the RV buyer to an event like this, even in this economy.”
Some dealers at this year’s show had more than sales on their minds. Todd Williams, sales manager at Transwest Truck Trailer RV, a truck and horse trailer dealer, was out to spread the word that he’s the new Winnebago Itasca dealer in town.
The crowd was abuzz on Saturday as the drawing for the Keystone RV “Live Your Dreams Sweepstakes” was held. The grand-prize winner, Nancy Heckert, of Panama City, Fla., was awarded a new Keystone Outback fifth-wheel.