Attendance was up, but sales results mixed at the Central Indiana RV and Camping Show, Jan. 12-20 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
“We were pretty pleased with attendance,” said show director Harry Bond, who reported that 14,628 people walked through the turnstiles, up 9% from last year. “We market for 15,000 people, so we came pretty close to that.”
Ed Peterson, owner of Lafayette Travel Trailer Sales, reported selling twice as many units at the Central Indiana show this year compared to last, mostly in the low to mid-price range.
“This show has been tremendous. Fuel prices and interest rates are low, and people are not inclined to fly,” Peterson said. “Overall, we had a better year last year than we did in 1999. You have to selling the right product.
Darry Piper, owner of Hal-Dar Vacation Trailers, Bunker Hill, Ind., reported doing “pretty well” in show sales.
“We’ve had some very good luck at the show with top-of-the-line fifth wheels,” Piper said.
A third of the way through its fiscal year, Hal-Dar is on pace to match last year’s revenue, which was a company record, Piper said.
“We sold fewer units last year, but made more money,” Piper said. “That has to do with cutting expenses and keeping the margins up. Right now, we probably are equal to or a touch ahead of last year.”
Matt Braun of Fun Time Campers, Indianapolis, termed the Central Indiana show “a very pleasant surprise” but didn’t have the sales success he’s had in the past.
“The last four months really have been quiet and we didn’t know what to expect when we came to the show,” Braun said. “We’ve seen a lot of new folks on the floor, but compared to a year ago, we are down a little bit in sales. And we are down some overall.”