By now, the lobster tails served up under the Thor Industries Inc. tent and the fist-sized filet mignon usually on the dinner menu at least one night at Forest River Inc.’s Dynamax facility have become the stuff of Open House legend.
Suffice to say that both companies will again be pulling out all the stops with food and drink at their respective venues. Increasingly, however, they are being joined by a cadre of other manufacturers dialing up on food and entertainment as a means of not only thanking dealers for their partnerships but also keeping them within specific display for longer periods of time. Here’s what participating dealers can look forward to:
• Forest River has raised the entertainment bar this year in celebration of its 20th anniversary with Grammy-nominated artists Trace Akins appearing Tuesday (Sept. 20) and Daughtry performing Wednesday. Both acts will open at 8 p.m. at the Dynamax facility. On the cuisine side, lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Monday-Wednesday schedule includes appetizers from 4-6 p.m. and dinner from 6-9 p.m.
• Thor will feature a “welcome” hog roast starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday, with cocktails available beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. A Continental breakfast will be served from 9-9:30 a.m., with a buffet lunch from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Cocktails start at 1 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday night, Thor will again host its “Casino Night.” The popular grand prize car raffle runs 1-4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, followed by live music and fireworks from 6-10 p.m. that evening. An abbreviated Thursday schedule includes Continental breakfast, 9-9:30 a.m. and a buffet lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
• Erwin Hymer Group, along with its Roadtrek subsidiary, will host a barbecue Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring German-inspired food.
• Newmar Corp. plans to host a lunch for its dealers at the company’s display on Frederick Drive/CR 6 on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
• Little Guy Worldwide will welcome dealers to its display with a barbecue lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday.
• Gulf Stream Coach Inc. will equip its display along Executive Parkway with stadium lights in order to extend day into night during the show. Additionally, the Nappanee, Ind., builder will host a Continental breakfast 8-10 a.m., Monday-Wednesday, with lunch served 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. all three days. Gulf Stream also will host a Happy Hour at 4 p.m. each day followed by dinner from 4:30-7 p.m.
“We’ll also have a ‘camp kitchen’ set up to feed people just about any time,” said Paul Campbell, director of marketing.
• inTech RV will host a lunch cookout Wednesday.
• REV Recreation Group, open for business at noon on Monday (9 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday), will feature an hors d’oeuvres menu daily beginning at noon (4-6 p.m. Monday with cocktails) and a Happy Hour from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Hors d’oeuveres continue at noon on Thursday.
• Dometic/Atwood will offer visiting dealers light appetizers and beer/wine — along with prize drawings — Monday from 4-7 p.m. at the company’s eastside Elkhart facilities.
• Grand Design RV opens its display beginning Monday at 10 a.m., with lunch set for 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and cocktails starting at 1 p.m. That same dining schedule holds true on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the addition of a Continental breakfast both days from 9-10 a.m. Thursday, breakfast is 9-10 a.m. with lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Grand Design also will stage its now-annual “Dealers Only” event beginning 6:30 p.m. Monday night at Bar Louie in nearby Mishawaka, Ind. Company executives were tight-lipped about this year’s headliner, but previous events have featured Eddie Money and .38 Special. So however you cut it, the heart of rock n’ roll is still beating Monday night with the GD gang.