Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, said in a Facebook posting in early June that his company would not be attending this year’s Hershey America’s Largest RV Show, scheduled for Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 in Hershey, Pa.
At the same time, Lemonis also announced a “virtual” RV show that Camping World will be hosting earlier that same month. The following is the transcript of Lemonis’ statement.
“I recently started receiving questions about upcoming RV shows from team members, vendors, local and state legislators and customers. As you might imagine, RV shows tend to draw large crowds, with long lines and packed aisles. All very exciting. But in light of COVID-19, it feels irresponsible to subject our associates and our customers to this type of environment. I’m concerned not only about the density of crowds, but the travel required to get there.
“I’ve been attending the Hershey RV show in Harrisburg, Pa., for years, and I always look forward to it. But because of the lack of clarity around guidelines, our company – Camping World, Gander RV and Good Sam – will not be attending. We expect that clarity to come over the next several months, and we look forward to the possibility of 2021.
“With the advent of technology, virtual sales processes, home delivery and contact-less transactions, they’re not only necessary but they’re safe – while prioritizing people over profit. I have committed to all of our vendor partners that they will receive the same, if not more, in factory purchases, so that this decision does not affect their business or any of the employees that work there.
“We look forward to participating in this show in future years once we’re convinced it can be done safely for everyone involved. With that, I’m pleased to announce that Camping World and our preferred manufacturing partners will be hosting the world’s largest virtual RV show Sept. 9 through the 13. Not just in Hershey, but nationwide. We’ve lined up manufacturer presentations, new product launches, live-streams with industry experts, giveaways, and I’ll make sure – like every day – we have spectacular show pricing with big discounts from the manufacturers. My job is to make sure you see America for less and stay safe. Thank you.”