The annual Good Sam Club rally held at the Rockingham (Va.) County Fairgrounds has been canceled. This year, hundreds of RV enthusiasts will not be traveling to the county and will not be spending money in the local economy, according to WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg, Va.
The Good Sam rally has brought nearly 200 RVs and nearly 500 people to Rockingham County for the last eight years. Organizers say “early birds” were set to arrive Sunday (Oct. 11), with the majority of RV enthusiasts arriving later this week and staying through the weekend. However the fairgrounds were empty Monday, vendors weren’t selling food and local entertainment was canceled.

The fairgrounds lost income because of the cancellation. Fairgrounds management charge $18 per RV. Last year the fairgrounds made $7,000, and the year before, it made nearly $9,000.

Local Good Sam Secretary Brenda Mitchell said the rally was canceled because of a lack of participation due to the economy.

That theory was echoed by fairgrounds General Manager Dennis Cupp and event organizer George Kaine of Rockingham County.

“There is the unknown, because of gas prices and now because of the economy,” says Cupp.

“There are a lot of retiree’s in the organization of course. We’ve talked to many of those over the last couple weeks, who’s retirement income, disposable income took a hit with all the dumps last year,” says Kaine.

The cancellation is a hit to the local economy. Mitchell says RV patrons travel from as far as Texas and Florida and leave the fairgrounds to shop in Harrisonburg and Staunton.

Mitchell said the cancellation of this year’s rally has inspired her to do more marketing. She hopes to draw enough RV enthusiasts to hold the event for years to come.