The Michigan RV and Campground Association is hoping that its show-season opening event, the 26th Fall Detroit Camper and RV Show, is an indicator of this year’s show season.
The show, which was the first of the association’s five events spanning through early April, saw a 6 percent uptick in last year’s attendance, which topped 12,000, and marked the best attendance for the show since 1999, according to the show director Bill Sheffer.
“From what I gather from the dealers on Sunday night, they had pretty good sales, too,” Sheffer said. “Not only on towables, but motorized as well.”
Like last year, 14 dealers attended, displaying more than 275 units at the indoor event at the Suburban Showcase in Novi, Mich. Forty-two vendors, including a mix of suppliers and campground owners also attended.
“A lot can happen with the economy between now and February, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that what we experienced in the fall, we’ll see again in February (for the 50th Detroit Camper and RV Show),” Sheffer said.
After strong opening days on Wednesday (Sept. 30) and Thursday (Nov. 1), Saturday’s attendance at the Fall show dipped, possibly thanks to two area colleges – Michigan and Michigan State – playing noon football games in the area, according to Sheffer.
“We more than made up for it on Sunday,” he said. “It’s just a matter of picking which day you want to go to an RV show, and we have a five-day event.”
For the first time at a MARVAC show, the association sold tickets in advance online, after a bottleneck of consumers at MARVAC’s largest show last year forced show officials to shut the doors briefly until the traffic could be cleared.
“That allowed us to let those people to enter the show immediately when they walk in the door, they didn’t have to wait in a line, and we’re hoping that will work out for us come February,” Sheffer said.
With the season’s first event in the books, Sheffer and his team turn to the association’s largest event, the Detroit RV and Camper Show Feb. 10-14 at the Suburban Showcase in Novi.
The association is planning a special event at the February show to celebrate the milestone and to honor longtime members. Sheffer expects to release details in the coming weeks.