The show featured more than 300 units from 16 dealers and was sponsored by GS Media & Events, a division of Good Sam Enterprises LLC, which owns and operates 17 recreation-focused consumer shows throughout North America.
“I don’t have final numbers from the box office yet, but I think we had about 23,000 people for attendance. Last year we had about 18,000,” said Vilma Fraguada, president of GS Media & Events. “I think it’s because of the increase in consumer confidence, and the decrease in gas prices also was helpful. We saw a lot of younger families and a lot of single women who were buying RVs.”
Justin Humphreys, vice president of sales for Airstream Inc., a division of Thor Industries Inc., attended the show and said the crowd in Denver “was a bit younger than most shows, which was great to see” and many were buying toy haulers.
“We continue to see many Baby Boomers who are nearing retirement and are doing research on RVs,” Humphreys added. “Many of these folks have never owned an RV before and are now considering the lifestyle when they retire. Their questions dealt with the differences and advantages between a travel trailer versus a motorhome. They also had a lot of questions regarding tow vehicles and what they would need in order to comfortably tow an Airstream. It is great to see this group continue to enter the industry.”
In addition, Humphreys, said the “vibe was great, people were upbeat and sales were strong,” he said, adding that it was a record show for Windish RV Center, an Airstream dealer with Colorado locations in Longmont and Lakewood. “Consumer interest was very high and several follow-up appointments were made for customers to visit the dealership. It was a great start to the show season for us.”
Brian Clemens, national sales manager of Forest River Inc.’s Class C division, echoed Humphrey’s comments, saying there were a “ton of people looking to buy an RV for the first time.”
“There were a lot of people exploring the RV lifestyle. They were asking all the right questions, too – like how do you get a campsite and how do you travel in an RV,” he said, adding that another segment of buyers were those downsizing from larger RVs. “Maybe I’m skewed because of what I’m into, but it just seemed like a lot of people were going from a big Class A diesel pusher down to something smaller, like a Class C.”
Chris Sach, vice president and general manager of RV America, said there were a lot of people at the show of all ages, a relatively recent trend.
“We’ve seen more young families in the last few years, more so than in years past,” Sach said.
RV America, a towables and motorized full-service RV dealership with Colorado locations in Aurora and Loveland, brought 74 units for display and Sach said they were able to sell many units from all segments.
“Traffic was good, sales were good and we can’t wait to see what happens in February,” he said, referring to the Colorado RV, Sports, Boat & Travel Show, which is Feb. 26-March 1 in the National Western Complex, also in Denver.
Other Colorado dealers participating in the show included: All Star RV of Louviers; B&B RV of Denver; Boardman RV of Pueblo West; Camping World of Longmont; Century RV of Longmont; Five Star RV Center of Henderson, Johnson RV of Firestone; Ketelsen Campers of Wheat Ridge; RV America of Aurora and Loveland; Steve Casey’s Four Seasons RV Superstore of Wheat Ridge and Loveland; Trailer Source in Wheat Ridge and Colorado Springs; and Transwest Truck Trailer RV of Fredrick.