New York Gov. George Pataki scored massive political points with the Buffalo area business community with his recent decision to grant a waiver to allow RVs up to 45 feet long to be driven to major rallies in Western and Upstate New York this month, according to Business First of Buffalo, an American City Business Journals publication.
There is a bill before the New York Legislature to extend the maximum allowable length of an RV to 45 feet, from 40 feet. But it became clear a few weeks ago that the bill would not pass prior to the Good Sam Club’s New York State “Country Western” Samboree in Herkimer County that begins on Friday (July 11) or the Family Motorcoach Association’s (FMCA) International Convention in suburban Buffalo July 18-20.
So Pataki granted a waiver on June 27 allowing 40- to 45-footers on the vast majority of highways in the Empire State.
“It was an antiquated law that needed to be dealt with,” said Richard Geiger, president of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. “By passing this legislation, it is encouraging people to come to the motorcoach association show and encouraging them to come back to the region in the future. If New York wanted to attract RV owners, then it had to address the legislation.”
Allowing up to 45-footers should boost attendance at the FMCA rally to around 10,000 motorhomes, according to Jeff Schollnick, general sales manager at Colton RV & Van Center in North Tonawanda, N.Y.
Prior to the waiver, the FMCA had commitments from around 6,500 motorhome operators, Schollnick said.
FMCA attendees are expected to spend around $8.58 million while in the Buffalo area, according to the convention and visitors bureau.
“These are well-heeled people,” Schollnick said. “These are the type of people you want to attract to your region.
“Fortunately, we got an 11th hour reprieve,” he added. “News tends to spread very quickly among (RV) owners and groups.”