Recreational park trailer manufacturers have until Friday (Oct. 17) to apply for space at the 46th Annual National RV Trade Show Dec. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky. If necessary, a drawing will be held Monday to allocate 22,000 square feet of display space in Broadbent Arena in the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC).
“If they request more than I have available then there will have to be an allocation,’” said Mary “Mike” Hutya, vice president of shows and meetings for the sponsoring Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “All of the traditional rules will apply.”
Members of the Recreational Park Trailer Association (RPTIA) were invited at the last minute to display products at the 2008 show. In March, citing a traditional waiting list for RVIA members to display their products in Louisville, the RVIA board decided not to invite park model manufacturers.
With the industry downturn, however, the Louisville Show didn’t sell out for the first time in many years and in September the RVIA board reversed it position.
RPTIA Executive Director Bill Garpow said it isn’t clear how many park model manufacturers will apply for space. “Some may already have spent their marketing funds for the year elsewhere,” Garpow said. “The decision will be made individually by the companies.”
Indeed, recreational park trailer companies in September displayed 50% more units compared to 2007 at the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, largely due to RVIA’s decision to not to invite them to Louisville.
The two associations earlier this year had been at odds over RVIA’s new rule effective last Jan. 1 that allowed travel trailer manufacturers to increase the size of their units from 320 square feet to 400 square feet, a move that RPTIA opposed. The dust-up was widely believed to have been a factor in RPTIA’s departure from the show.