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The annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, underway in Hershey, Pa., this week for the first time, is on track to draw 35,000 people by the time it ends Sunday (Sept. 18).
The 2004 show – the last at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg – drew just over 31,000 consumers.
The consumer days were preceded by a two-day trade segment that featured an evening buffet and entertainment by country singer Ronnie Milsap.
“The dealers I spoke to are quite happy with the quality of the attendees,” said Rebecca Lennington, executive vice president of the sponsoring Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA). “They are here to buy, and they are buying.”
The PRVCA show, running Wednesday through Sunday, annually is the largest consumer venue on the East Coast and was staged for 36 years at the state-owned Farm Show Complex in nearby Harrisburg.
The PRVCA moved the show to the Giant Center and the sprawling Hersheypark entertainment complex 16 miles to the east in Hershey after the Farm Show Complex substantially increased its fees.
“We are getting positive comments on the facilities themselves – both from consumers and dealers,” Lennington said. “It is much easier to locate the vendors the way Hersheypark is laid out. It’s been a very positive experience partnering with Hershey. They are extremely customer-oriented. It’s a nice marriage.”
Lennington said PRVCA has been particularly pleased with local press coverage. A Harrisburg Patriot-News business-section front page on Wednesday featured a story about RVers attending the retail show who said they weren’t concerned by escalating fuel prices.
“They came here looking for a quite different story,” Lennington said. “We were concerned about that. But the actual users of our product told them that gas prices aren’t a major concern.”