The 2017 Florida RV SuperShow opened Wednesday (Jan. 18) at a record-breaking pace as 18,911 people passed through the gates at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. (To view the slideshow scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page. Photos by Rick Kessler.)
According to representatives from the host Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA), that number eclipses the previous first-day record by around 1,200. “We maxed out the parking lot and were using overflow lots we’ve never had to use before,” said Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “The weather has been great and it looks like the weekend will be just as good.”
The show reached its pinnacle in 2015 with an overall attendance count of 63,264. The past two years, the show has approached that mark, coming in just shy of 63,000.
Kelly noted that the local sheriff had to close the Highway 301 entrance and route people through the another entrance in order to get the traffic off of I-4. In addition, the supplier buildings, featuring over 400 booth exhibitors, were packed from the minute the show opened.
“Suppliers were reporting record sales for the first day and many were scrambling to get more product delivered for the other days of the show,” said Kelly, adding, “We set a record with our fall show and if the weather continues we are looking at a new record here as well. I think since the end of the election, people are feeling more confident about large ticket purchases like an RV.”
More chairs had to be brought into the seminar area to accommodate the crowd. Especially large groups attended the “Full and Extended Time RVing” and the “Tips for Choosing the Right RV” seminars.
“This tells us that experienced RVers are traveling more often and for longer periods of time and new people are looking at RVs and trying to get as much information about ownership as they can,” said Kelly.