With record attendance each of its five days, the 51st Annual Detroit Camper & RV Show easily set a new high mark as nearly 28,500 people attended the consumer show at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich.
Hosted by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds (MARVAC), the final tally surpassed last year’s record crowd of 25,398 by 12%.
“It was a very good show, and all the dealers I spoke with all said they had a great show,” MARVAC Director Darren Ing told RVBUSINESS.com. “Along with our Battle Creek show earlier this year, it’s been a great kickoff to what should be another strong year for dealers and campgrounds.”
The event featured 287 new towable and motorized RVs displayed in the Suburban Collection Showplace’s 300,000-square-foot exhibit hall — which is undergoing a 90,000-square-foot expansion — along with RV-related seminars, and representatives from more than two dozen campgrounds around the state.
Dealers and manufacturer representatives on hand told RVBUSINESS.com that sales were exceptional, and many said they were so busy on Saturday — nearly 13,000 people attended that day alone — they could barely keep up. Several mentioned they were unable to leave a particular unit for 90 minutes at a time as wave after wave of consumers were asking them for more information.
“As I was walking the aisles, there was a definite buzz among the people. I could hear the excitement. We really had no complaints about the long lines, or the weather, or the parking. It really speaks to the consumer confidence in the economy and their attraction to the RV lifestyle,” Ing noted. “Half a dozen campground owners said they ran out of brochures, and many said they were booking camping reservations with people right then and there.”
Ing added that the seminars were especially popular and plans are in the works to expand on those offerings for future shows. Amazon Camperforce, in particular, was one that expressed interest in conducting a seminar, and Ing said another potential topic was introducing newcomers to the RV lifestyle.