The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) recently completed two more regional RV shows, one in Tampa and the other in Estero. While no attendance records were set, the people who did come were very optimistic about purchasing in the near future, the organization reported in its member newsletter FRVTA News.
Over 3,900 people came to the Tampa Show, which was up about 400 customers over last year. The Tampa Show also collected canned goods for Metropolitan Ministries to assist with their Thanksgiving food drive.
“We had great weather on Saturday and Sunday and were lucky the rain came through Tampa on Saturday night,” said Show Coordinator Patty Flanagan. “There were a lot of other things going on in the Tampa area that weekend, so I think we did pretty good topping last year’s attendance.”
The Clean Sweep Show in Estero didn’t fare as well due to heavy rain throughout the day on Sunday. “We were ahead of last year’s attendance estimates and felt good going into the final day of the show with many sales made and lots of quality customers,” said Show Manager Jack Carver. “Unfortunately, Sunday’s rainy conditions kept the vast majority of patrons away, so our overall attendance numbers were down.”
Earlier, the first show of the season, the 2nd Annual St. Johns County Fall RV Show, drew about 2,500 people over its four-day run. Located just south of Jacksonville in Elkton, dealers reported a steady stream of visitors from the beginning of the show.
“There was a crowd of people waiting at the entrance when we opened on Thursday morning and that wasn’t the case last year,” said Joe Andrick, general manager of Dick Gore’s RV World in St. Augustine. “We saw a dramatic increase in traffic compared to our first show in 2013. I was very pleased with it. Our dealership had a 30% increase in retail sales over last year, so I was thrilled.”
With many sales registered by dealers and vendors alike at these opening events and show attendance equal to or over last year’s fall shows, FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly is looking for a banner year for attendance at all FRVTA- sponsored RV shows.
“All indications are that the RV market, which has been red hot all year long, will continue to grow and do well-especially here in Florida during the upcoming winter selling season,” he explains. “I expect that all our events will provide excellent venues for vendors and dealers to sell their products.”
In fact, RV campgrounds and resorts around the Sunshine State are reportedly seeing “snowbirds” a little earlier this year due to an early onset of cold weather up north. This is just another welcome sign of great things to come, especially with the winter selling season just around the corner.
The FRVTA winter show schedule kicks off with the 2015 Florida RV SuperShow on Jan. 13 (Industry Day) and Jan. 14-18 (Public Days). That will be followed by shows in Fort Myers, Ocala, Jacksonville, Deland and West Palm Beach. For more information about the FRVTA winter shows go to www.frvta.org or call (813) 741-0488.