RV companies expect biggest Elkhart RV Open House Week in September
Posted: 06/12/2013 at 3:00 pm
By: Justin Leighty
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In this file photo, Beverly Brown of Horizon Transport unhitches a R-Vision Trail Sport travel trailer from her truck during the 2011 RV Open House Week. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Cody Beachy (left) and Sam Jordan raise flags as they set up Newmar motorhomes at the 2011 RV Open House Week. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Rick DePaul, left, and Gene Cronin, right, walk down a line of fifth-wheel RVs in the Forest Hills display at the Dynamax complex in Elkhart during the 2011 RV Open House. (Truth Photo By Delayna Earley)
This map, provided by Northland Corp., shows space already spoken for near the RV/MH Hall of Fame for this year’s RV Open House Week. The event runs the week of Sept. 15, 2013. (Photo Supplied)
“We still expect a helluva turnout. We expect a bigger and bigger turnout,” said Jeff Babcock, one of the general managers at Forest River. “As every year comes and our business grows, we expect it to keep getting bigger and bigger.”
Business has grown a lot. The industry reported strong attendance from consumers and dealers at the spring shows, and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association expects to see 8.4 percent growth this year.
At Keystone, the biggest brand of the other RV giant, Thor, company officials are hearing lots of buzz about the open house, though Jim Mac, Keystone spokesman, said, “attendance is pure speculation. We are optimistic that it will be as large or larger than last year.”
The event isn’t open to the public, but it draws thousands of RV dealers to check out the new models and features offered by the companies. It also allows dealers to visit the vast majority of RV factories, with more than 80 percent of all North American RVs produced in Elkhart County and the surrounding counties, according to the RVIA.
“This is good for Elkhart County. They stay at the hotels, they eat at the restaurants. If we can get as many Elkhart County companies involved as we can, we’ll try to accommodate,” said Rob Letherman