Thousands of recreational vehicle enthusiasts from every state and province in North America celebrated the RV industry’s centennial at The Rally, a four-day extravaganza at the Kentucky Exposition Center July 22-25.
An estimated 10,000 attendees — including those staying onsite in 2,867
RVs and 5,000 day pass visitors — demonstrate a boom in the RV industry
with consumers showing their commitment to the lifestyle they enjoy.
The event also pumped more than $11 million into the local Louisville
economy, according to a news release.
Attendees browsed the latest and greatest RV models from 42 RV
manufacturers and dealers and enjoyed 350 product booths displaying the
newest RV products, gadgets and services.
Fleetwood RV Inc., one of the largest motorhome manufacturers in the country, significantly exceeded sales projections, while Lazydays, a leading RV dealer, sold 20-plus units. Pat Terveer, national sales director for Newmar Corp.,
another leading RV manufacturer, said the company had good results that
included selling six of the seven motorized models it displayed at the
show, including its luxury new amenity-packed, 2011 Essex diesel
motorhome, a $650,000 model.
Camping World, which was an exhibitor in both the RV Sales and RV Accessories areas, reported strong sales results as well.
“All in all, we exceeded expectations and The Rally couldn’t have gone better,” said Mike Schneider, CEO of Affinity, parent company of The Rally’s hosts, which include MotorHome magazine.
“Our exhibitors came to Louisville hoping to have a good show and they
had a great show. When you put these folks together with our consumers,
it gives us a powerful buying group that spends money on the lifestyle
For more than a decade, the annual Rally event has been hosted by
Affinity, the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation clubs,
services, media and events. Affinity’s family of affiliated companies,
including the Good Sam Club, and Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines,
works to enhance its customers’ recreational experiences and build the
communities that share and promote their fun and adventurous lifestyles.
Headquartered in Ventura, Calif., Affinity is leading the industry’s
rebound by connecting consumers directly with manufacturers through The
Rally and its 34 other consumer shows held annually across the country.
“The Rally demonstrates what we talk about every day — we enhance
the outdoor experience through connecting our partners with consumers,”
said Terry Thompson, vice president of sales for Affinity Media/RV and a
key organizer of The Rally. “We provide invaluable services to our
members and, in turn, help advertisers connect with their target
audiences. We produced a wonderful event for attendees, which created
fantastic sales for exhibitors.”
The Rally celebrated the 2010 RV centennial in two big ways.
A special living display of 20 vintage RVs was organized in “Vintage Village,” showcasing models from 1937 to 1978.
Bob Livingston, senior vice president of Affinity Media, took 50 families on a sold-out pre-Rally Centennial Caraventure, which gave RVers an inside look into RVs, past and present.
Rounding out The Rally’s extensive event schedule, RV industry
gurus presented more than 150 educational seminars, while stand-up comic
Bob Newhart and legendary country music artist Tanya Tucker performed
during its nightly entertainment program. New this year was “The Rally’s
Got Talent” contest, featuring a wide variety of acts and interesting
talents on Sunday evening, July 25.
The Rally Dog Show, “Kentucky K-9s!” returned for the seventh year.
Pet adoptions were also held with the Louisville Metro Animal Services
where 12 pets found new homes as a result. Both are popular, recurring
events in which Rally-goers showcase their love for their beloved
For updates on The Rally 2011, taking place in Redmond, Ore., July 14-17, visit www.therally.com, or Twitter at www.twitter.com/therally. Information and pictures can also be found on The Rally Facebook group page at www.facebook.com/therally.
The Rally is hosted by the following Affinity companies: the Good
Sam Club, Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines, Trailer Life and
Woodall’s Campground Directories, Camp Club USA, Coast to Coast Resorts
and Camping World President’s Club.
By RV Business