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The spirit of patriotism combined with a desire to get back to normalcy made the California RV Show in Pomona a big success, according to participating dealers and show promoters.

The 10-day show east of Los Angeles ended Sunday (Oct. 21) and attendance totaled around 34,000, about 1% above the turnout during 2000, according to Marsha McInnis, director of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) sponsored event.

The Southern California dealers who were interviewed admitted they were worried that attendance and buying activity would be down at this year’s show due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax disease scare.

However, spokesmen for Giant RV Center, Mike Thompson’s RV Center and Richard’s RV Center all said they were pleased with their sales volumes and profit margins at the show.

The spokesmen for the three multi-location dealerships also said they believe their inventories now are at the appropriate levels heading into the usually slow Thanksgiving-to-Christmas RV retail season.

Giant sold over 200 units at this year’s Pomona show, including 75 highline “garage model” towables built by Weekend Warrior Trailers of Perris, Calif., said Dan Johnson, general manager of Giant’s Upland, Calif. location.

Motorhome sales also went well at the Pomona show, particularly diesel pushers, Johnson added.

“People (at the show) said this was a good time to support the country by buying American-made products, and interest rates are low,” said Louk Neinhuis, director of sales at Mike Thompson’s RV Center. “We had a record show, up 81% over last year and 36% over 1999.

“Fleetwood’s 2002 models were very well received,” said Neinhuis, who added that sales of highline fifth-wheels built by NuWa Industries Inc. increased 350% at this year’s Pomona show.

“The outlook (for the RV industry) is bright,” said Steve Richardson, co-owner of Richardson’s RV Center. “The (Pomona) show was a big success.”