ELKHART — The Midwest RV Super Show wrapped up its 58th year Sunday afternoon, Aug. 11, completing a very successful weekend for everyone involved.
Matt Rose, the director of the Super Show, said the event’s second year at the RV/MH Hall of Fame was going to see about 5,000 people attend the four-day event by the end of the day Sunday, which represented a 10 percent increase over last year’s figures.
Saturday turned out to be the most heavily attended day of the Super Show, but Rose said strong numbers both Thursday and Friday eclipsed usual attendance figures for those days.
“We saw a fantastic Thursday and Friday,” Rose explained. “People came out early and they were buying early. A lot of the serious buyers came out early to get their deals.”
There weren’t just more people coming to the Super Show, however. Rose noted that the number of dealers had increased from eight in 2012 to 13 this year.
Dealers saw the benefits of the larger crowds, as people showed up early and in large numbers looking to make a purchase.
“Our dealers are happy and selling units. They’re doing well,” Rose said. “Our motor home sales have been phenomenal. The diesel pushers and also the class A’s, they’re doing well out here.”
Ron Sleeper, owner of The RV Center in Columbia City, said this was his company’s fifth Midwest RV Super Show and that this year was shaping up to be its best to date.
Sleeper said enthusiasm among customers seemed very high over the weekend, leading him to believe people are getting more comfortable with factors such as gas prices.
“People are buying bigger,” Sleeper said, referring to some of the larger units available.
A handful of new elements also benefitted this year’s RV show.
For the first time in several years, vendor displays could be found at the show within the museum.
Vendors have historically been present at the show but have been absent in recent years.
Rose said both the vendors and the parts shop had successful weekends and added that he’d like to expand the number of vendors next year.
“My job is to get (the show) back as close as it can be (to shows in the past),” Rose explained. “This is our first show having vendors in a while. We’re starting small and next year I want to grow.”
Another change in this year’s show was the inclusion of the Hall of Fame entrance fee with the cost of a show ticket. For $10, show attendees had full access to both the show and the Hall of Fame.
“Something that’s gone over really, really well this year is combining RV Hall of Fame museum with the show,” Rose stated. “It has been received extremely well.”
“We’ve been exceptionally busy because everyone that’s coming in for the show is coming through the museum as well,” said Charlene McNulty, Executive Administrator of the Hall of Fame.
McNulty estimated that the number of people that came through the Hall of Fame this year is at least double the number that came through last year during the Super Show, if not more.
The relationship between the Midwest RV Super Show and RV/MH Hall of Fame has been beneficial to both sides, and Rose doesn’t see any change in venue in the near future.
“(The Hall of Fame) celebrates RVs and the RV lifestyle so it just makes sense to have the Super Show at the RV Hall of Fame,” he explained.
“We plan to stay out here. It’s the perfect location, we have a lot of space and we have an opportunity to grow the show because we have a lot of space, so it works well.”