Include the Atlanta Camping & RV Show on the list of early consumer shows reporting record attendance. Sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (MARVDA), the Atlanta RV Show ran Jan. 23-25 at the Atlanta Exposition Center South.
Saturday (Jan. 24) was a record crowd and overall attendance topped last year’s gate, said the show’s manager, Bobby Smith.
“We were really pleased with the attendance and with the quality of the consumers,” Smith told RVBUSINESS.com. “The people were really taking their time to listen to the dealers, and they knew what questions to ask. They seemed to be informed, like they had done their research ahead of time. They were really honing in on what they wanted to look at and buy.”
In fact, the good attendance and the overall positive state of the RV industry has Smith looking at resurrecting the group’s autumn RV show. He said organizers have a meeting soon to finalize the details, including the date. The venue will remain at the Atlanta Exposition Center.
Joey Brown, general manager of Pecos Campers, a towable retailer in Stone Mountain, Ga., said the Atlanta show was “fantastic.” Pecos Campers was acquired by Campers Inn late last year, becoming the Kingston, N.H.-based dealership’s 10th location.
“We sold 43 units and we brought 46,” Brown said, adding Pecos Campers was the top seller at the show. “Flagstaff and Starcraft were our top brands, and people were buying everything from travel trailers to fifth-wheels to popups.”
Brown expects they will participate in more shows this season, and he’s certainly hoping for the same type of buying-ready crowd that was in Atlanta.
“I’ve been doing shows for a number of years and it’s like it is at every show: the buyers come back Saturday night and Sunday after they’ve looked at everything on Thursday and Friday,” he said.
Jeff Porter of Three Way Campers Inc. reported attendees were in an upbeat mood. Porter and his brother David are third-generation owners of the Route 66 RV Network member dealership in Marietta.
“I’ve been to a lot of shows where people were really wanting to downgrade everything. I heard no complaints this year. Everything was positive,” Porter said, adding they sold a good number of mostly travel trailers during the show, but carryover buyers at the dealership this week were purchasing motorhomes and fifth-wheels.
Paul Genovese, regional sales representative for the Class C division of Forest River Inc., said that although the show was similar to last year in that it felt “busy,” most people “were in the early stages of the purchase process.”
“Trailers seemed to do well, motors were about the same as last year,” Genovese added.
Steve Troyer, regional sales manager for Jayco Inc.’s towables division, said both traffic and sales at the Atlanta show were “very strong.”
“As we are seeing throughout the early show season, not only is retail attendance high, retail orders have been very good as well,” he said. “We are seeing a sharp increase in the fifth-wheel segment with our Pinnacle and Eagle series. The White Hawk ultralight travel trailer is also experiencing strong numbers in the early going.”
Other Georgia dealers at the Atlanta RV Show included Brown’s Camping Sales Inc. in Jonesboro; Crown RV Center in Conyers; National Indoor RV Center in Liburn; Campers Inc. in Marietta; RV World Of Georgia in Buford; Southern RV in Jonesboro; and Southland Motorhome Center & RV in Buford.