Tampa-area Lazydays RV Center Inc. will participate for the first time in a decade in the Florida RV SuperShow, Jan. 16-21 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
Lazydays, Seffner, Fla., and several of the brands it carries, haven’t been represented at the Florida show since 1996 when Lazydays moved to a new location three miles from the fairgrounds and instead held its own private show at the same time as the supershow.
“After a certain amount of time goes by, from a marketing point of view you want to try new things,” said Stewart Schaffer, Lazydays chief marketing officer. “This is new for us since we opened the supercenter 10 years ago.
The show, sponsored by the Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association (FRVTA), is expected to draw about 45,000 people. Between 50 and 60 dealers will display about 1,400 RVs from 125 separate manufacturers who have booked a total of 853,000-square-feet of display space – most of it outdoors.”
Lazydays, the nation’s largest single-location RV dealership, will add Winnebago, Monaco, Beaver, Holiday Rambler, Safari, Fleetwood, American Coach, Country Coach, Damon, National RV and Tiffin motorized brands to the show along with Carriage towables.
All told, Lazydays will host nine displays with 100 units and about 40 sales people. Among the RV manufacturing products on display – supplier exhibitors are all inside – are just about every major OEM line and some not so well known, such as a new Elan line of minimotorhomes from Optima Industries LLC, Eastman, Ga.
A manufacturer of motorized car haulers for the racing industry that is making its first foray into the more traditional RV sector, Optima’s Elan is built on Freightliner business class or Class 8 truck chassis with 300-hp and 450-hp Mercedes Benz MBE diesel engines, respectively. Base prices start at $280,000. All in all, show sponsors are pleased.
“The show is larger than it’s ever been before,” said Lance Wilson, FRVTA executive director. “The returning manufacturers mean that every major line that is available to the public will be available at the show.”
Wilson added that Camping World will feature a 6,000-square-foot retail store for the first time at the supershow. Meanwhile, early sales reports as snowbirds began heading to Florida for the winter were mixed, Wilson said. The regional Tampa Bay RV Show Nov. 9-12 had an excellent turnout, but sluggish sales, he reported. Another regional even in West Palm Beach during the same period had good sales, but didn’t live up to expectations.
“That may have been because expectations were too high,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that early predictions are for Florida RV dealers to have a good winter saleswise. “There’s a good influx of snowbirds in the campgrounds already,” he said. “People are traveling and the roads are full of RVs heading south. The expectations of having a good season is borne out by the space that the manufacturers have booked at the supershow.”