Attendance at the 42nd Annual Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show Feb. 5-8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center was down about 14% to 23,592 from 27,252 in 2007.
But despite the decreased traffic, some dealers reported strong sales.
“We wrote 62 orders at the show and we expect 10 or 15 more to come in the week after the show,” said Mark Coates, owner of Coates RV Center in the St. Paul suburb of Columbus.
Coates said he held training sessions before the show to stress the importance of being positive in the nation’s current economic situation. “There’s no reason we can’t do well even in this economic environment,” he said.
“The serious and avid RVers were there,” added Tom Gaither, senior vice president of Affinity Events, a division of Affinity Group Inc. that hosted the show. “People were looking for a deal. Financing in this market obviously is the `if.’ “
At the Terrant County RV Show Jan. 22-25 at the Fort Worth Convention Center, some dealers reported brisk sales as attendance was up from 9,770 in 2007 to 10,699.
“We were very pleased with attendance,” said show director Pat Hahn. “On Saturday it was elbow to elbow, and hard to get around. The dealers were concerned about what was going to happen, but I don’t think they could have been any happier. There were a lot of ‘sold’ signs on units.”