Record numbers turned out for the 2004 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo featuring the RV Learning Center in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Rio All-Suite Casino Resort, Sept. 21-24.
Total attendance was 1,765, up 6% from a year ago, and included 859 RV dealer personnel representing around 350 dealerships. The annual event is co-sponsored by Fairfax, Va.-based RVDA of America and RVDA of Canada.
The Convention/Expo featured more than 60 live workshops organized by the RV Learning Center, a growing resource for RV dealership continuing education efforts. RVDA also reported that exhibit space for the event was sold out.
RVDA of America’s outgoing Chairman of the Board, Marty Shea of Madison RV Center in Huntsville, Ala., noted, “I think one thing that many of us here share is optimism. We are backing up our optimism for the future with our investment in people and facilities that will keep this industry rolling.”
“RVDA of Canada is pleased to be a contributor and participant in the RV Learning Center’s work to provide continuing education,” said RVDA of Canada President Derrick Dobson, of Leisure Time RV, in Saint John, New Brunswick. “Information that can help serve RV customers better knows no boundaries and we are pleased to be part of this program.”
RVDA Education Foundation Chairman Rick Horsey of Parkview RV Center in Smyrna, Del., told attendees, “The RV Learning Center is a true industrywide effort to improve the knowledge and skills, and therefore the professionalism of RV dealers and RV dealership employees. The convention’s live workshops are only part of the education resources available. The RV Learning Center works with our industry trainers to provide more training opportunities throughout the year.”
RVDA of America President Mike Molino told members that convention attendance illustrates the overall health of the association. “As happy as I am with our past, I am even more pumped about where RVDA is positioned for the future,” he said. “Thirty-nine percent of the dealer people attending the convention were not here last year, which is a tremendous indicator of freshness and future growth.”
The 2005 Convention/Expo is scheduled for Sept. 27-30 at The Rio All-Suite Casino Resort.