The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has agreed to continue staging its National RV Trade Show in Louisville through 2007, although RVIA President Dave Humphreys said the expanded Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center (KFEC) may not be adequate to satisfy the future space needs for the show.
Last month’s 41st National RV Trade Show drew a record number of 13,371 attendees and occupied all 765,000 square feet of the KFEC’s available space.
An additional 165,000 square feet will be added to the KFEC’s South Wing. The South Wing expansion work will begin in March and is scheduled to be completed in time for the RVIA’s show in 2005.
In addition to 27-foot-high ceilings in the new 165,000 square feet of exhibit space, 57,000 square feet of meeting rooms will be added to the South Wing.
However, Humphreys, who will retire two years from now when he reaches age 70, said, “Sales of RVs more than doubled from 1991 to 1999, and if they double again in the next 10 years, there will be an even bigger demand for more quality exhibitor space. In that case, we may be forced to look at other venues in Atlanta or Orlando.”
Concerning the show’s present situation, Humphreys said, “We’re bulging at the seams and have had to ration the amount of space our exhibitors are able to rent. That costs the association money.”
The RVIA’s new contract with the KFEC includes two renewal options of two years each, which could result in the show remaining in Louisville at least through 2011. However, whether the renewal options are exercised will depend on the industry’s growth and trade show exhibit space demand, Humphreys said.