There’s nothing recreational about the latest vehicles to move onto the grounds of the RV/MH Hall of Fame (HOF) in Indiana’s Elkhart County. Earth movers are on site to mark the start of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Inc.’s latest expansion plans, as WNDU TV reported Tuesday (April 16).
Phase 1 calls for the construction of a 22,000-square-foot pavilion with seating space, restrooms and a food staging area. Each side of the building will feature six large glass panels that will open like garage doors for an open-air feel.
In an interview with RVBUSINESS.com, RV/MH Heritage Foundation President Darryl Searer reported that the entire project is “the realization of the vision of the future that the Hall of Fame put out about a little over two years ago.
“The pavilion will be phenomenal. It will feature multiple restrooms for both men and women, and have a kitchen prep area. There will be a portable type stage, overhead doors with glass windows and heating/air conditioning so the facility can be used year-round.”
While the pavilion will be the focal point of the project, Searer said the entire grounds would also receive a dramatic makeover. “The landscaping and blacktopping actually finishes the entire 25 acres east of the existing Hall of Fame and Events Center,” Searer related.
Searer emphasized that the “dream”came to fruition through the backing of Thor Industries Inc. The expansion will enhance Thor’s displays at the annual Elkhart RV Open House as the company is the lone Open House exhibitor at the HOF, showing product manufactured by the its various operating subsidiaries, most of which are located in the area.
“The Open House is going to be first class. In the past, they had to erect a big tent, an approximately 20,000-square-foot tent that had to be erected, and they had to bring in diesel generators for power,” Searer said. “That all goes away with a permanent pavilion and permanent electrical stations that they can spider off of to power all their units. It just improves the site to be the most professional event possible.”
Searer told RVBUSINESS.com that excavators are currently in the process of removing topsoil, adding, “Once they get the topsoil and the landscaping part of it done so that the proper drainage and everything is there along with the retention ponds, they have to get the infrastructure in. There will be electric and the water and the sewer all going out to the pavilion. That’s all underway, and sometime in early May, they’ll start erecting the 22,500 square foot pavilion.”
According to Searer, the addition of the pavilion would also allow the HOF to build on its roster of events, which has been growing for the past several years.
“It will be used for rallies and car shows and boat shows — all types of events that require a lot of parking area and so forth,” Searer said. “Thor will be using the pavilion approximately two weeks out of the year, and the rest of the time the Hall of Fame will be able to use it for events. They will be year-round types of events because of the pavilion being air conditioned and heated.”