Midwest RV show moves to RV Hall of Fame
Posted: 07/26/2012 at 5:40 pm
By: Dan Spalding
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With a little help from others pushing at the rear, Tom Ewing of Elkhart RV Sales pulls a Waterfall Toy Hauler into place on Aug. 17, 2011, in preparation of this year's Midwest RV Super Show in downtown Elkhart. The Super Show takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (Truth Photo By Elizabeth Frantz)
The elk statue in City Center Park stands flanked by RVs on Aug. 17, 2011. The vehicles are on display as part of the Midwest RV Super Show that takes place this weekend. (Truth Photo By Elizabeth Frantz)
The three-day show begins Aug. 9 and organizers hope they’ve found a permanent home at the hall.
Like the industry itself, the show is still in the rebuilding mode after a dreadful recession that hit Elkhart especially hard.
Three years ago, the show took a hiatus. During the past two years, it was held in downtown Elkhart.
Now, organizers look forward to capitalize on the hall’s proximity to the Indiana Toll Road.
During the past two years, attendance has been between 2,500 and 4,000 people.
“That location might be a little more visible, so we’re hoping to beat those numbers,” said Mark Bowersox, the show’s director who works for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association and Recreational Vehicle Indiana Council.
“It should grow to be a destination event again,” Bowersox said.
He said the hall of fame’s improved financial standing has helped improve its long-term stability and was another factor in the decision.
The upcoming show marks the 57 year.
Making the museum part of the package is a “neat touch,” Bowersox said. “I think it’s a good location for the show to try and grow back to what it used to be,” he said.
For visitors, it’s an opportunity to get a peek at the newest models and a chance to check out the history of the RV industry.
The museum includes 67 units dating back to 1913. The latest item added to the collection is a 1937 Ford Model A with a small towable camper, said Tom McNulty, executive vice president for the hall of fame.
Show organizers are offering a combination ticket option that includes admission to the show and the RV museum.
Admission to the show is $6 for adults and normal admission to the museum is $9 for adults, but when purchased together, attendees can view both displays for just $10.
Hours for the show are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For the past two years, the Super Show camped out at the Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart.
The city of Elkhart also provided financial support two years ago.
“The city stepped up and supported the industry and this event when we needed it. Without that support we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Bowersox said.
Bowersox said they have commitments from six dealers and is optimistic they could still add a few more.
Dealers scheduled to participate in the show include Great Lakes RV Center, International RV Wholesalers and Total Value RV, all of Elkhart; Indiana RV Connection of Middlebury; Pete’s RV of Schereville; and The RV Center of Columbia City.