Where could you expect to find marketing managers and corporate executives from nationally known companies such as Cracker Barrel, Saturn, Walt Disney World, Wal-Mart, Pennzoil/Shell, Dodge, and Daytona 500 combined with over 10,000 RVers?
The only place you’re likely to come across such a diverse gathering is the Great North American RV Rally (GNAR), which continues through Thursday (June 24) at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kan.
Among the highlights of the event, which began Monday (June 21), is the Welcome Mat Awards. Sponsored annually by the Good Sam Club, the awards recognize those businesses that go out of their way to accommodate RVs and offer good service to the growing number of RVers.
The Good Sam Club will show its gratitude to these RV-friendly businesses with a full slate of special events.
This year’s attendees will be honored at a reception-dinner tonight (June 22), followed by the presentation of awards. Culminating the evening, the honorees will be escorted to the Main Stage Grandstand and introduced to GNAT attendees. They will then take their seats front and center for the headliner Bobby Bare concert.
“We are pleased be able to give accolades to these businesses that put a great deal of effort in being attentive to the special needs of RV owners,” said Good Sam Club executive director Sue Bray. “Our members have proven year after year that they definitely have a strong attachment to the businesses receiving these awards.”
The Welcome Mat Award Winners taking part in the festivities tonight are:
• Best Good Sam Park: America’s Best Campground, Branson, Mo.
• Best dinghy vehicle: Saturn
• Best tow vehicle: Dodge
• Best motor oil: Pennzoil
• Best consumer RV Show: Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show
• Best gas station: Flying J
• Best propane station: Flying J
• Best restaurant: Cracker Barrel
• Best outlet mall: Prime Outlets
• Best NASCAR event: Daytona 500
• Best shopping center: Wal-Mart
• Best tourist attraction: Walt Disney World
• Best state to fish in: Texas
• Best craft store: Michaels
• Best state to visit in an RV: Oregon
• Best Canadian province to visit in an RV: British Columbia
The recipients of the following awards were were unable to attend the gathering in Hutchinson:
• Best fast food restaurant: Wendy’s
• Best golf course: Pebble Beach Golf Links
• Best pet supply store: PetsMart
• Best casino: Circus Circus in Las Vegas
Over 4,300 RV rigs were registered for the rally and around 10,000 RV owners expected to be in attendance at the four-day event.
Good Sam Club is a unit of Affinity Group Inc., as is TL Enterprises, publisher of RV Business and RVBUSINESS.com.