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Attendance was trending up when last week’s Jacksonville RV MegaShow opened its four-day run at Jacksonville Equestrian Center as more than 1,200 guests went through gates the first four hours. The Florida Times-Union reported that optimism for a record-breaking show was high, but then came Mother Nature.

A cold, dreary Saturday (Feb. 28) of steady rain drowned the organizers’ chances of setting an attendance mark. However, dealers reported brisk business and more sales and potential sales than last year.

“Mother Nature had other plans for us during the show,” said John Schuster, general manager of Camping World RV Sales of Jacksonville and president of the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Region 6 Northeast Florida district. “But despite the poor weather, really for all four days, people came and those who braved the elements came to buy.

“Although attendance was down, our sales at Camping World of Jacksonville far exceeded last year’s sales,’’ Schuster said. “Motorhome sales were brisk. We saw a lot of pent-up demand. Many people, who have been holding back, decided this was the right time to buy.”

Because of the damp weather, “those who came were more serious about an RV purchase,” Schuster said. “We did not hear, ‘We’re just looking’ very much over the four days of the show.”

About 7,000 people visited the four-day event, compared to an average 10,000 attendees over the last two years.

“The weather on Saturday put a damper on things in more ways than one,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “But we did see the same growing demand they reported in Jacksonville like we saw at the Tampa SuperShow in January; sales were up, as well.”

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