The recreational vehicle and camper show that has come to Port Huron, Mich., for more than 20 years is canceled this year due to economic woes, according to a report in the Times Herald.
The show, organized by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVC), was scheduled for March 8-11 in McMorran Place.
Several area RV and camper dealers, feeling a financial crunch after suffering low sales last year, pulled out of the show.
The association had no choice but to cancel, association director Bill Sheffer said.
“We tried to do everything we could to get it going,” he said.
McMorran general manager Larry Krabach said the event usually attracts about 5,000 or 6,000 people and earns the facility at least $10,000 to $15,000 in leasing fees, parking and concession sales.
He said it is too late to get another event to come to Port Huron or make up for the lost revenue.
“It was kind of a disappointment that it has been canceled,” Krabach said. “It’s very disheartening and unfortunate when you get that call from an organization like this. Times are tough in Michigan, and we are a casualty of it.”
Sheffer said as of November, Michigan RV and camper sales were down 11% to 12% from 2005.
When people aren’t sure about their jobs, they don’t buy a travel trailer, Sheffer said.
He said many of the about 15 dealers who usually come to Port Huron are from outlying areas such as Lapeer and North Branch and have decided to go to shows closer to their locations.
Dave Bockstanz, owner of Marlette Chrysler, Dodge Jeep and RV in Marlette said he wasn’t too upset the show was canceled.
“Attendance has been going down for a couple of years,” said Bockstanz, who had gone to the show for about 10 years.
He said he would use the money he usually spends at the show on advertising in the Port Huron area.
Sales are down for everybody, especially the sale of motorhomes, he said. “That business has totally gone,” he said.