RIVERVIEW, Fla. – The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) just completed the fourth and final regional show held around the state, and officials say the attendance numbers have been “phenomenal.” Even with much of the state still recovering from the hurricane season, many snowbirds and Canadians made the trek to Florida this winter and the regional RV shows were packed from the opening bell, according to a release.
Following the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow, with an attendance of over 79,000, FRVTA headed south to the Ft. Myers RV Show. Even with southwest Florida still reeling from Hurricane Ian in September, the show still drew over 9,000 over the four public days of the show.
“We did very well even with the smaller crowd,” said FRVTA Region 1 President Everett Henkel. “Once the area recovers more over the next year, I think the show will be back to setting attendance records”.
The Jacksonville RV MegaShow was the next regional show on tap and set a new opening day record of just under 2,000 people. A strong second day set up what was to be a record weekend – and then the rains came.
“I thought we had a great shot a new record,” said FRVTA Region 6 President Greg Stachacz. “Even with a rainy Saturday we were able to recover nicely on Sunday and still had a great show.”
Still, over 7,400 people poured into the Jacksonville Equestrian Center located just west of town. Always touted as a family-friendly event over the years, the show attracted even more families this year and even the weather didn’t keep people away. “Seemed to me we saw a lot of first-time buyers,” said Regional Director Vince Ponciano. “Dealers were not only pleased with the crowds but also reported very strong sales.”
The next weekend the West Palm RV Show also opened the gates to great crowds.
“We really had no idea what to expect with the SuperShow numbers being down, but this was a pleasant suprise!” exclaimed Regional President Craig Waits of Waits RV. “We had fantastic weather and all dealers I talked to were very pleased.”
Patty Flanagan, FRVTA’s regional show coordinator, was at the show’s final three days. Flanagan said she largely credits the good weather for the 2,400 attendees who showed up Saturday and the 1,900 on Sunday. The sunshine brought first-time buyers and families looking for something to take the kids out in and get away, Flanagan said. Over 6,000 people pasted through the gates over the 4 days and were doing more than just kicking tires.
The Ocala RV Show was the final winter regional show held again at the Florida Horse Park located just south of Ocala. Beautiful weather the entire weekend brought out near record crowds.
“We did need to call in more help with the parking lot as the people just kept pouring in,” said Flanagan. “Fortunately, the weather held up over the weekend and we had the third best show we’ve ever held”. “We again had BOGO day on opening day and that really brought out the crowds,” said Regional President George Grimm. The show brought in the local Shriner’s Club to handle concessions, which helped keep prices low for the great food they prepared.
The bottom line coming out of the Florida Winter/Spring RV show season is that the attitudes of consumers are vastly more positive and the fact that most shows had the best crowds they’ve seen in many years means the interest in RV products is still strong and getting stronger.
For more information on these or any remaining events, please contact the FRVTA State Office.