Featuring 1,500 RVs displayed on 24 acres, the Florida RV SuperShow, which is hosted by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) each January at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, is one of North America’s largest RV shows in terms of attendance, venue, vendors and RVs on display.
Among the 400-some vendors at the “Tampa Show” were a handful of state campground owner associations, all looking to promote their member parks to the 70,000-plus people attending the five-day event.
“It’s imperative that we’re here. I always say that if we’re not here, then they’re going to choose off a menu of what is here,” said Don Bennett, president and CEO of the Campground Owners of New York (CONY), who was manning the booth for Anderson’s Brochure Distribution Service, a company he acquired in 2017.
“The value of this show is huge — for any state in the country really — because there are so many people who came from the north, are now in the south, and want to go back and visit family. Plus, there’s the number of RVs that are here for people to look at and upgrade — and, as campground owners, we always love to have new RVs in our parks,” added Bennett, who also co-owns Conesus Lake Campground in Conesus, N.Y.
Likewise, John McCory and his wife, El, have helped staff the Camp Indiana booth for the Indiana Campground Owners Association (ICOA) at the Tampa Show since 2000. The two owned the former Hickory Grove Lake Campground in Portland, Ind., for 32 years before selling it in 2010. The new owners renamed the park Fox Lake Campground, and the McCorys became snowbirds, living in Fort Wayne, Ind., during the summer and wintering in Florida.
On the second day of the Tampa Show, the two were handing out Camp Indiana brochures as fast as they could manage, as most passing by were more than happy to receive one.
“About every other person will take a brochure — maybe two out of three,” John McCory told Woodall’s Campground Management, sister publication to RVBusiness. “And they know there are 52 campgrounds in the brochures, covering the whole state, and they know that Indiana is the best kept secret in the whole U.S. because we tell them that.”
El McCory added that many attendees stop and chat with them because most either have an Indiana connection, or often travel to the northern part of the state to visit with manufacturers for service work.
“This is the biggest show around,” she said. “It’s a great show and you can really pick up a lot of information and see all the new units that are available. There’s some fantastic units out there.”
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