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The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported today (Dec. 10) record attendance of 14,450, representing a 7.5% increase over 2003, during last week’s 42nd National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
The attendance figure included a total of 5,681 dealers, representing 2,243 dealerships – up almost 6 percent over 2003. Attendees from buying categories as a whole – RV dealers, accessory store representatives, campground owners and warehouse distributors – also enjoyed a 6 percent increase over the previous year.
RVIA also reported that the sold-out exhibit space in the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center (KFEC) encompassed an all-time high of 773,200 square feet.
The show featured a wide variety of brand-new models and design innovations, including: a folding camping trailer with a front deck for storing ATVs or other equipment; bunk beds equipped with satellite TV and Sony PlayStations; touch pads that control multiple systems, including security, water management, electrical distribution and HVAC; a sport utility trailer with a loft bed; and a clam-shaped trailer with an outside cooking galley attached to the rear of the RV.
 “We were extremely pleased with the traffic and dealer interest at the show,” remarked Roger Martin, vice president of sales and marketing, Winnebago Industries, Forest City, Iowa. “We had an excellent response from dealers.”
The show drew 434 accessory-store representatives, up from 383 last year, and 132 warehouse distributor representatives.  
“We were very busy every day,” said Armin Luzi, general manager, marketing, Thetford Corp., Ann Arbor, Mich.  “A lot of OEMs, distributors and dealers came in to look at our new products, so we are very pleased.”
RVIA officials said next year’s show will take place from Nov. 29-December 1 at the KFEC in Louisville.