Attendance at the ongoing slate of seminars and workshops was “overflowing” last week during the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 73rd International Convention at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, Ga.
“That’s always a good indication that people are enjoying the show,” said Jerry Yeatts, director of conventions and commercial services for FMCA, noting that even the high cost of fuel didn’t dampen attendees’ spirits. “The seminars were filled to capacity.”
The annual rally for the Cincinnati, Ohio-based motorhome owner’s club, held March 21-24, drew 5,405 member rigs to the spacious facility in Perry and 6,467 coaches in total including display vehicles.
“Perry is one of our prime convention venues,” said Robbin Gould, editor for Family Motor Coaching magazine. “This was the fourth time that we have been to Perry. It’s just a great location. They really understand our needs and make it very easy for us to hold the show.”
Traditionally, the FMCA rally offers consumers the first glimpse of new product lines from manufacturers. Among builders displaying 2006 product in Perry, Monaco Coach Corp. showed new Monaco Executive, Dynasty and Holiday Rambler Navigator diesel pushers while Country Coach Inc. debuted new 2006 Affinity 700, Magna 630 and Intrique 530 coaches.
Also, Travel Supreme Inc. showed a new twist in its mid-engine garage-equipped Class A, and Damon Corp. weighed in with the higher priced 2006 Astoria Waldorf A-body.
The Perry facility offered both indoor and outdoor display areas for the 498 companies that exhibited at the show, which included: 79 motorhome dealers; 49 motorhome manufacturers; and 370 supplier/component exhibitors.
“There was always a lot of traffic through the exhibits,” said Gould, noting the indoor area picked up when a rainstorm passed through on the first day of the show. “The outdoor displays were set up around lakes and other picturesque camping settings, which really added a nice touch.”
The event also featured daily entertainment and a nightly roster of performers which included headliners include Marc Frampton and the Hollywood Hills Orchestra, Pam Tillis and the Oak Ridge Boys.
Yeatts said one new benefit this year was that active military personnel were given free admission.
“It was a great show,”’ said Yeatts. “People thoroughly enjoyed it.”