Dan Holt, founder and publisher of the former RV News magazine, a prominent RV industry trade journal during its time, passed away peacefully at his home this morning (Nov. 6) in Chandler, Ariz., according to former RV News Editor Don Magary.
“Dan will be remembered for his passionate advocacy for the industry and his willingness take up the causes of the underdog both personally and through editorials in the pages of RV News,” Magary stated in a press release.
Holt launched RV News in August 1975 as a West Coast regional tabloid newspaper focusing on the RV aftermarket and grew the publication into a respected national RV trade magazine. He led the publication until his 2005 retirement.
“Dan was a visionary that made several major contributions to the RV industry both as an entrepreneur and a volunteer,” said Magary. “He donated his time and energies to help the industry through the years by his service to many national RV associations such as RVDA and WDA, now RVAA.”
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon noted, “We were saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Holt today. Dan was an exceptional journalist, an astute businessman, a dedicated volunteer for many RV organizations, and a passionate advocate for the RV industry. His career and life exemplified the tremendous entrepreneurial spirit that is one of the hallmarks of the RV industry. On behalf of our members, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
Holt was co-founder and CEO of Web Site Management Inc., a company that helped pioneer the use of the Internet by companies in the RV industry, and launched RV America On Line, a successful portal web site for RV-related information.
He founded the first national RV aftermarket trade show, which he eventually sold to RVDA and exists today as RVDA’s RV Expo, held annually at the trade group’s national convention. He was also the founder of RV Technician magazine, which he also sold to RVDA.
Holt was honored in 2001 by being inducted into RV/MH Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the James Baker Memorial, WDA/RVAA’s Man of the Year award in 1993. The inscription on the Baker Award, Magary noted, sums up what Holt contributed to the industry: “In grateful recognition for his contribution and service to the aftermarket industry.”
“Dan was so much a part of my life over the past 30 years that is difficult for me to believe that he’s gone,” said Magary. “He was more than a partner and friend; he was more like a brother. It was an honor to know him and I will miss him tremendously.”
Holt is survived by his wife, Carmel, son Sean and several grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending.