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The timetable for the expansion of the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center (KFEC) in Louisville, site of the RV industry’s annual National Trade Show, now is uncertain because the Kentucky Legislature is at an impasse over a new budget, according to Mary “Mike” Hutya, vice president of meetings and shows for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Due to the budget impasse, it is not currently known whether Kentucky law makers will agree to spend $12 million to $16 million to expand the KFEC’s South Wing by 160,000 square feet.
The improvement program also called for the demolition and replacement of the East Wing beginning in 2005.
KFEC officials were not immediately available for comment about the likelihood that the funding for the KFEC improvements would be included in the state’s next two-year budget.
The Kentucky General Assembly was unable to agree on a new budget during its regular session and one special session so far this year. It is generally believed another special session will be scheduled during June.
Hutya plans to update RVIA National Show Committee members on June 11, during the RVIA’s Committee Week June 10-13.
Even if funding for the KFEC improvements had been approved earlier this year, Hutya did not anticipate being able to offer additional space to national trade show exhibitors until 2004.
The RVIA’s national trade show has, traditionally, taken place during the week after Thanksgiving.
If the KFEC improvement program is scrapped, Hutya believes the RVIA Board might decide to look for another city to be the host the industry’s national trade show.
A move of the RV industry’s national trade show cannot occur for another three years, at the earliest, she added.
If the situation in Louisville is not resolved, then Orlando and Atlanta would become the leading candidates to host the show, Hutya said. Cleveland and Houston also are “outside possibilities,” she added.