The Dow may be dropping and the unemployment rate rising, but Saturday at the 39th Annual RV and Camping Show in Syracuse, N.Y., dealers and vendors reported steady traffic and an upbeat mood among buyers.
“I’m happy, and it takes a lot to make me happy,” said Kevin Bostrom, regional vice president of Camping World.
“If I had a tail, I’d be wagging it,” added Jim Kring, show director.
The Post Register, Syracuse, reported that even with the economy in the dumps, people were turning out in droves at the camping show. Kring said the crowds were “fantastic,” with attendance up on Thursday and Friday. “Saturday is beyond my wildest dreams,” Kring said. The show, held at the Americraft Center of Progress Building, concluded Sunday.
Dealers reported that the heavy traffic also generated sales.
“Just look at the sold signs,” Bostrom said, pointing down a row of motorhomes and travel trailers with bright green “Sold” signs on them.
Anne Wrench, of Bainbridge in Chenango County, was one of many buying or close to buying a travel trailer Saturday. She didn’t believe the doom and gloom of economic forecasts.
“Apparently, people want to buy,” she said. “Look at all the people here.”
Those selling the fifth-wheels, trailers and motorhomes said camping is attractive because it’s an affordable way to vacation.
“Camping is cheap – it’s less expensive than flying and paying for a motel,” said Jerry Fitzpatrick, of Great RV Outdoors Superstore in Fulton. “You can get a nice trailer for $150 a month.”
Fitzpatrick said his store sold three times as many units in February as in previous years. “After six months of winter, people want to get out camping,” he said.
There were plenty of bargains as some units were marked down by thousands of dollars for the show.
Mike Brennan was browsing the show looking for a replacement trailer. He has taken his current camper all the way to Alaska twice and was checking out the current models.
“The economy doesn’t bother me,” Brennan said. “I’m retired.”