Kentucky officials took a major step toward retaining the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National Trade Show by agreeing to go ahead with a $52 million expansion of the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center (KFEC).
Although the RVIA still needs to negotiate contracts with the Kentucky State Fair Board for future shows at the KFEC, RVIA President Dave Humphreys said the decision to go-ahead with the KFEC expansion “clears a big hurdle.”
The RVIA’s national trade show has, basically, out-grown the KFEC, so the association, which represents RV manufacturers and suppliers, considered moving its show to Atlanta or Orlando.
A move was considered because the expansion of the KFEC, originally scheduled to begin last summer, was postponed because Kentucky officials did not believe the state had enough money to pay for it.
But on Tuesday (March 11), the Kentucky fair board agreed to float a bond issue to pay for the construction. The bonds would be repaid using fair board revenue, according to The Courier-Journal of Louisville.
Construction of a 166,500-square-foot addition to the KFEC’s South Wing will begin in August and be completed in the fall of 2005, in time for the RVIA’s 2005 show, which will take place during the first full week after Thanksgiving of that year.
The 166,500-square-foot addition would double the size of the South Wing, according to the RVIA.
After the 2005 show, the KFEC’s East Wing will be demolished and rebuilt in time for the RVIA’s show in 2007, said RVIA spokesman Alan Piercy.
That means, after having more space available in 2005, the amount of space available for the show in 2006 will be about equal to the amount of space available now, Piercy added.