The Kentucky Legislature has agreed to pay for expanding the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in Louisville, site of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association-sponsored National Trade Show, but the RVIA Show Committee will continue to consider possible alternative sites for the annual event, RVIA President Dave Humphreys said today (June 9).
Humphreys spoke at a luncheon during the association’s annual Committee Week gathering in Washington, D.C.
From the point of view of exhibitors, “In Louisville, of course, the issue is, how come I don’t have more space, and how come I’m in a bad spot?” Humphreys said. “I remember this last year, I had more complaints about the location, the quantity, the quality of the space than I’ve ever had.
“But I’m happy to say that after the show, every single person I talked to said they had a great show,” Humphreys added. “So, I guess some of that crummy space wasn’t too crummy after all.”
But, despite severe budget problems, the Kentucky legislature agreed earlier this year to expand the KFEC by 165,000 square feet. The expansion of the South Wing, the most modern portion of the KFEC, is expected to be completed in time for the RVIA’s show late in 2005.
However, Kentucky will then demolish the KFEC’s East Wing so the amount of space available for the 2006 show will be about equal to the amount available now, Humphreys said.
Beginning in 2007 and thereafter, there will be as much space available for the RV industry’s national trade show as there will be in 2005.
“So, we’ll see, but the show committee is being very diligent about all of this,” Humphreys said. “They are looking and the (RVIA) board is considering their recommendations on alternate spots. There are places in the United States with as much space as you want and it’s all world-class. The bad news is: It costs a lot of money.
“So, I don’t know that we’ll ever move, but I just wanted you to know that the show committee and the board are looking at alternatives, mainly Atlanta and Orlando,” Humphreys said. “There are alternatives out there and we’re using that leverage with the folks in Kentucky to be sure that we get everything that we could possibly get out of the current facilities.”