Traffic was steady and customers were in a buying mood, according to promoter Kenny King on Friday (Jan. 23) as the 26th annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show headed into its final three days.
“We’ve had a lot of traffic,” said King of the event, running Jan. 17-25 in the Arizona town of Quartzsite around 20 miles from the California border. “The gates are free, so I can’t be exact, but I’m sure that we’ll top 100,000 easy before we’re done.”
He added, “For one thing, the weather has been perfect. We just got a bit of rain last night that washed the dust off the tents.”
Perhaps, more important than sheer volume, King said that the mood of the show was “very upbeat.”
“I’ve been getting out there every day and I haven’t heard anything negative from the customers, which is a bit surprising,” he noted.
Paul Evert’s RV Country, with stores in Fresno, Calif., Bullhead City, Ariz., and Laughlin, Nev., was the exclusive on-site dealer at the show. Curt Curtis, vice president for the retailer, said that his sales staff was “turning some pretty good business.” That report was punctuated by the fact that Paul Evert’s is primarily a motorhome dealer.
“So far, we’ve sold 39 units, which is just four short of last year,” Curtis said. “So the volume is good. And it’s really encouraging to see the motorhomes selling since that market has been down for some time.”
Curtis said that financing wasn’t a problem, partly due to a change in how the salespeople were handling deals.
“The conventional lenders have been stepping up, particularly Bank of America,” he said. “And we are doing things a bit differently – getting bigger downpayments and other things to make the deals more appealing to the banks. So, it’s a combination of the banks loosening up and us working harder to get the deals in line.”
In addition to Paul Evert’s, King said there are 10-12 dealers set up throughout Quartzsite.
“La Mesa RV bought out an entire corner,” King said. “I can’t say for sure how those dealers are doing, but I have been hearing that sales were good.”
King estimated that there were around 300 vendors at the show, down approximately 30% from the previous year. But he said that the eight service bays set up at the show were running full-time to keep up with installations.
“They’re busy adding on all kinds of accessories to units,” King said. “All the vendors seem to have big smiles on their faces.”