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By all indications, retail sales were “very strong” and a new attendance record was set during this year’s Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, according to Rebecca “Becky” Lenington, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association (PRVCA).
“2000 was our best year and we know we beat those figures,” said Lenington, about the show in Harrisburg, which concluded Sunday (Sept. 15). “We had over 10,000 (attendees) on Saturday (Sept. 14), that was a huge day for us.
“Each day (during the retail portion of this year’s show) was a record for that particular day,” said Lenington, who added that exact attendance figures will become available later this week.
The first day of the retail portion of this year’s show was last Wednesday, the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. There was concern that attendance would be weak on Wednesday due to it being the anniversary, but those worries turned out to be unfounded, she said.
This year’s Harrisburg show occupied around 980,000 square feet of space, up 17% from 2001, Lenington said. There were 1,021 RV units displayed during this year’s show, a 13% increase from the 900 or so units exhibited in 2001, said Larry Mellott, show chairman and co-owner of Mellott Brothers RVs, Willow Street Pa.
About 40% of this year’s Harrisburg show was indoors with the remainder outside. But, next year, about two-thirds of the PRVCA’s show will be indoors because a new, 175,000 square foot addition to the State Farm Show Complex is scheduled to be completed by January, Lenington said.