Crowds inspect product displays on opening day Wednesday  of the SuperShow in Tampa, Fla.

Crowds inspect product displays on opening day Wednesday of the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, Fla.

Attendance was up 11% Wednesday (Jan. 13) on the first day of the 2010 Florida RV SuperShow — the largest of the winter RV shows throughout the U.S. over the next eight weeks and an event that’s widely viewed as a possible harbinger of things to come for the rest of 2010.

Large crowds continued to course through the Florida State Fairgrounds today.

“We are slamming them again (today)” said Lance Wilson, executive director of the Florida Recreational Vehicle Trade Association( FRVTA), who reported that attendance Wednesday on ”Seniors Day” was 13,684 people.

“I’ve been checking with some dealers,” he continued. “Sales are good. We aren’t setting any records on sales, but they are good.”

Considering the RV industry’s recession-driven travails over the last 18 months, “It’s the ‘new’ good,” Wilson offered.

Manufacturers, for the most part, reported increased activity during the early part of the Florida show.

“For the first day, traffic was very strong,” said Bob Martin, the newly appointed president of Keystone RV Co., Goshen, Ind. “Peoples’ attitudes are very positive. We are much busier than we were early in the show last year. We won’t know how it will play out until we get into the weekend.”

Martin, at the same time, reported that attendance at the Great Lakes Recreation Vehicle Show in Cleveland that ended Sunday also was “very good.” And he’s not alone in that assessment. “It was very different than last year,” Martin said.

Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Jayco Inc., Middlebury, Ind., said that dealers confirmed that there was more early traffic at the Florida Show than last year.

“Dealers feel very, very good about sales so far, the first day,” Johnson said.

He reported that there was substantial interest in fifth-wheel RVs in Tampa. “But Tampa is not a typical retail show because it’s so heavily attended by vacationers and Snow Birds,” he said.

The Florida RV SuperShow continues through Sunday.