The pricing and lack of availability of insurance were primary topics when the Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association (FRVTA) met Set. 17-20 for the 25th Annual FRVTA Convention at the Coconut Hyatt Regency in Bonita Springs.
“That was the No. 1 discussion issue,” said Lance Wilson, FRVTA executive director. “Of course, insurance is not only expensive, but it’s hard to get from an RV dealer’s and campground owner’s perspective. Very few agents are willing to write it.”
The insurance issue is of particular concern since Florida in 2004 was struck by four hurricanes within weeks of each other. FRVTA at that time postponed its annual convention after a hurricane damaged the Sanibel Island resort that was scheduled to host the gathering. The convention later was canceled.
About 250 people attended this year’s 1960s-themed convention at which keynote speaker Bob Losyk talked about ways to overcome stress in the workplace. In his remarks, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard A. Coon addressed the business climate in general and specifically the task forces set up by the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence to address quality issues on a broad scale throughout the industry. Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Mike Molino spoke about the new relationship between the RVDA Foundation Inc.’s RV Learning Center and the FRVTA’s Distance Learning Network for service technicians.
Wilson said most of Florida’s dealers and campgrounds had good summer seasons, considering that Florida is slow in the summertime anyway.
“Business is generally good – summer here in Florida being what they are,” Wilson said. Despite slow sales of motorhomes nationally, Wilson noted, most Florida dealers are optimistic about the short-term future. “I think the confidence is there in the industry — particularly if gas prices keep dropping. Everybody said that fuel prices weren’t a big deal when they were going up, but it’s in the backs of a lot of peoples’ minds that it is a big deal. Business, though, held up generally pretty well.”
During the convention, FRVTA members elected Chairman consultant Scott Schmidt of Southern Strategies, Fort Myers; President Sherry Perkins of Ocala Tri-Am RV Sales, Ocala; Vice President Donnie Davis of Cummins Power South, Tampa; Treasurer Larry Schaffer of River’s Bus & RV, Jacksonville; and Secretary Gunars Mansons of American Insurance, Ft. Lauderdale.