Attendance at the 10-day California RV Show that ended Sunday (Oct. 19) in Pomona was 21,123, a drop of 37% compared to 33,656 in 2007.
“Certainly, it was disappointing,” said Mary “Mike” Hutya, vice president of meetings and shows for the sponsoring Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “We knew that with the Southern California market, in general, being worse off than other parts of the country that attendance would be down.
“We increased the advertising and promotion but the general economy is just bad; the RV market is bad. Hopefully, our dealers did well. We think a lot of the people who were there were buyers.”
Manufacturers displayed a total of 1,289 units during the Oct. 10-19 show at Pomona’s Fairplex, but didn’t come anywhere near offering the 50% of 2008 models that RVIA allowed because of the extremely soft RV market. Only 86 – or about 7% – 2008 model-year units were registered for display, Hutya said.
She said that other 2008 units were located at a nearby demonstration area but weren’t registered for the show. “We know there were a lot of ’08 units up there,” she said, adding that sales reports were sketchy.
“Most manufacturers don’t want their competition to know what they are doing, so it’s tough to get good numbers,” Hutya said. “But that’s fine. We are there to help them make sales – that’s the purpose of the show. We want them to do well, but how they do individually, if they consider that proprietary information, that’s OK with us.”