The winter 2015 camper and RV show season was a great success for all those involved, including RV dealers, campground owners, industry-related exhibitors and the general public, the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) stated via a release.
Take Fun-N-Sun RV in Ludington and Coopersville, Mich. for example. According to Dennis Grossenbacher, president of Fun-N-Sun RV, “People came to the show with the intention to purchase a trailer, and came right out and told us that. We haven’t heard that in a while.” Fun-N-Sun sold 16 units at the Northwest Michigan Camper and RV Show in March in Traverse City.
Tri-City RV in Flint also experienced an incredible show at the Flint Perani Arena and Event Center. “We sold more units than we came with,” said Marketing Manager Jeff Korpal, adding that lightweight travel trailers were especially popular.
Economist Richard Curtin, director of the Consumer Research Center at the University of Michigan, noted that “Strong sales reflect the enduring appeal of the RV lifestyle as well as the ability of the industry to meet changing consumer preferences in the design and utility of their products.” Curtin has directed RV consumer demographic research since 1980.
Recreation vehicle dealers weren’t the only businesses to experience a great show season. Campgrounds saw marked improvement in reservations over past years.
Steve Reeves, general manager for Double R Ranch in Belding, Mich., noticed show traffic was way up at the Novi show in February. “It’s crazy how many reservations we have booked already,” he said. “You can see that people are less worried about spending money on a vacation because they are comfortable booking in advance.”
“The success of four MARVAC Camper and RV shows is an excellent barometer of how the economy is beginning to bounce back,” said Bill Sheffer, director of MARVAC. Sales of RV units are closely tied to consumer confidence, and based on what Sheffer saw at the shows — long lines to get in and busy salespeople — 2015 is shaping up to be a fantastic year.
MARVAC is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism. For more information, visit MARVAC’s website, www.marvac.org.