The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) recently completed the sixth regional show held around the state and, according to organizers, attendance has been steady with strong sales reported by participating dealers.
The Fort Myers RV Show, marking its 30th year, opened this year’s circuit featuring 16 dealers from all along the Gulf Coast along with over 100 vendors displaying the latest camping and recreational gear. Region 1 President Chris Morse reported that both dealers and vendors registered many sales from the over 12,000 that attended, despite some Saturday rain. In addition, dealers were also busy on their lots for weeks after the show, producing strong residual sales.
The Ocala and West Palm Beach RV Shows were both held the second weekend in February. The Ocala Show moved back to the Florida Horse Park located just south of town. Great weather all four days added up to over 5,200 people attending the show. “We felt that the customers were much more interested in buying this year compared to the past few years,” said FRVTA Region 7 President George Grimm.
Eleven RV dealers brought in a wide variety of different products and the supplier’s tent was packed with everything from campgrounds and resorts to all sorts of accessory items. “We were happy with the attendance and the facility,” he explained. “Plans are underway to return again next year to the Horse Park.”
The West Palm Beach RV Show reported the largest crowds it’s seen in over 10 years as close to 5,600 people enjoyed beautiful South Florida weather during the four-day event. “The increase in ad budget and the great weather added up to a fantastic show,” said Region 2 Director Brian Copley. “We had nine dealers participate and that really helped to fill the field while looking huge from the road.”
The Spring Clean-Out RV Show, held in February, featured seven dealers and six vendors. The 9th annual event was held again at Germain Arena in conjunction with an annual home & garden show. The show attracted over 2,500 interested customers despite a cold, rainy start. “We hold this show to reach into the Naples market where there are lots of RV resorts, but no RV dealers,” explained Region 1 Director Dan Wylie. “From what I could tell, every dealer did well, moving both new and used products.”
The Jacksonville RV Show returned for the sixth year to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Seven dealers participated dealers while the suppliers’ area was expanded to hold over 50 booths. In spite of rain on and off the entire show, close to 6,300 people came out to the four-day event. “Although attendance was down, our sales at Camping World of Jacksonville far exceeded last year’s sales,’’ said John Schuster, Region 6 president. “Motorhome sales were brisk and we saw a lot of pent-up demand. Many people who were holding back decided this was the right time to buy.”
On the same weekend as the Jacksonville Show, the Central Florida RV Show was held again at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand. Again, bad weather contributed to a drop in attendance, but dealers felt that those who did come to the show were serious buyers. “We saw more people here than we would have if we just sat on our lots,” said Ken Prentiss of Leisure Time RV. “We also added a few seminars on Saturday to get some new people to the show. We will continue to look for alternative sites for next year’s event.”
The last show on this year’s selling season is the 20th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers, scheduled for the last weekend in April. Show Manager Jack Carver expects to have about 10 dealers and a like number of exhibitors in this annual event that is aimed at local residents. “Depending on the weather, this show usually delivers about 3,500 people over three days,” he explained. “It’s the perfect time for our dealers to reach out to local residents as they prepare for the summer travel season.”