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Don’t let the international tensions become a distraction for your business because the long-term prospects for the RV and campground arenas are extremely bright. That was the theme projected Friday (Feb. 28) by Jim Rogers, president of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) during an address at NTP Distribution’s Annual Conference in Palm Springs, Calif.
Rogers believes the Mideast conflict, the economy, and high gas prices are “short term issues” and that dealers need to stay focused on the job at hand: Educating customers and looking for ways to better promote their businesses to the nation’s estimated 76 million Baby Boomers.
“There’s never been a better time to be in this business,” said Rogers, adding that this sector’s fate is closely tied to Americans’ love of travel, heightened interest in family time and the evolving demographics of the Baby Boom generation.
The NTP conference, which concluded Sunday, attracted 1,000 attendees, including 400 vendors and 600 representatives of about 250 RV dealerships. There were vendor exhibits and seminars aimed at helping dealers improve their parts management, marketing skills and RV product knowledge.
Bob Morter, president of NTP, formerly known as Northwest Trailer Parts, echoed Rogers’ views about the industry’s positive long-term outlook and added that concerns over current events could, in fact, create more interest in RVing in much the same way that the industry grew in the aftermath of 9/11.
“I, personally, love to use my motorhome,” said Morter, whose firm is in Wilsonville, Ore. “And I think as we go through turbulent times with war and a (struggling) economy, what people want to do is get out there with their families. The end result of our product is the opportunity for families to grow closer together, which is what we need in this country.”