Despite continuing bad economic news Utah RV dealers said sales were on a par with last year during the 44th Annual Utah RV Show, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune reported that
Brett Parris, president of Salt Lake City-based Motor Sportsland, represented one of 16 RV dealers statewide that showcased recreational vehicles during the weekend at the South Towne Expo Center.
He is “shocked” about how well his dealership is doing because “all you hear is about all the doom and gloom,” he said. At the same show last year, the dealership sold 60 RVs in three days. This year, it was down by two, Parris said.
“I don’t think it will be a record year,” he said. “But I don’t think it will be a bad year.”
About 35,000 people attended the four-day event, representing a small decline of several hundred visitors from last year, said Debra Greenband, the show’s organizer.
On Sunday (Feb. 22), folks spent hours exploring about 300 campers, trailers and motor homes at the event. They toured luxury RVs with washer-dryer connections, electric fireplaces, vacuum units and ceiling fans. The RVs ranged in price from $10,000 to $200,000.
So why are families still buying RVs in Utah?
Dealers said the state is known for large families and the great outdoors, so camping in an RV is a lot cheaper for parents than taking a plane ride to a vacation spot and staying in a hotel.
Others are using RVs as guest rooms or second homes. And dealerships are offering great deals and low interest rates.
Jerry VanDenakker, sales manager at Blaine Jensen RV and Camping World in Kaysville, said sales at the show were about 10% less than last year, but clients were buying more expensive RVs.
Some dealers have been able to buy discounted RVs from those going out of business on the East Coast, giving customers “good deals,” he said. For example, VanDenakker at the show was offering an RV for $50,000 – a 33% savings, he said.