Traffic was steady at the Indy RV Show during opening weekend

The 51st Indy RV Show roared to a near record opening weekend with nearly 6,000 attendees making their way to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Despite a slower than usual Saturday afternoon as the hometown Indianapolis Colts were in the NFL playoffs, Sunday’s numbers showed an increase of more than 400 compared to a year ago. The show runs through Jan. 13. (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page. Photos and story by Shawn Spence.)

“Saturday’s numbers were a bit off, but we were competing with the Colts playoff game. We paced well ahead for Sunday and overall opening weekend numbers point to another solid show coming off of a record gate last year. If the enthusiasm and excitement of this weekend’s crowd is any indication, 2019 is going to be another great year for the RV and campground industry,” said Matt Rose, director of recreation vehicles for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (MHA-RVIC).

Ken Eckstein pitches product at Indy RV Show

Ken Eckstein, owner/COO at Mount Comfort RV, Greenfield, was impressed by one shopper who drove from Detroit, Mich. for the show. “I asked him why he would make the drive. His answer was the Indy show was the first of the year. We had an incredible Sunday crowd — a lot of first-timers, a lot of young people and our sales are on par with last year.”

“Opening weekend has been great traffic with a lot of interest in entry-level travel trailers and lightweight categories, and we’re thrilled with the amount of deals we have going,” noted Christy Kirk, general manager of Modern Travel Sales of Anderson. “We are high on inventory and that was definitely intentional based on what we did last year, and we tried to get everything to the lot before the tariff increase. So we’re happy where we’re sitting. I don’t think we will be buying a lot into 2019. What we have on the ground is what we plan to sell for 2019.”

The Expo is in its 51st year and is hosted by the Central Indiana RV dealers including Braun’s Fun Time Campers, Indianapolis; Camping World of Indianapolis; Colerain RV of Indianapolis; Lafayette Travel Trailer Sales; Modern Trailer Sales of Anderson; Mount Comfort RV of Greenfield; and Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales, New Castle. Dealers will be looking to break last year’s record attendance of over 15,000 during the nine-day run.<