Despite Economic Climate, Campground Associations, RV Dealers Voice Confidence About 2009 Season

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For Immediate Release
January 9, 2009

Despite Economic Climate, Campground Associations, RV Dealers Voice Confidence About 2009 Season

Northeast RV & Camping Show Rolls into Hartford for Three Days, Jan. 9-11

HARTFORD, CT – When the economy is in a downturn, people generally look for affordable ways to vacation and spend quality time with their families, and that includes camping trips and RV excursions to in-state and nearby locations.

With that in mind, exhibitors are hopeful that their prediction will be realized by more than 10,000 people expected to attend the Northeast RV & Camping Show this weekend at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

“I’m really very confident,” said Rick Abare, executive director of the Maine Campground Owners Association. “One of the Top 10 New Years Resolutions is to spend more quality time with family.”

Whether that means camping or taking a trip in an RV, people will likely be staying closer to home for their 2009 vacations and the low price of gas will help this year, he said, although it may take a little longer for RV sales to recover.

At least one local dealer agreed, but he was hopeful that newer, more affordable RVs would attract sales this weekend and into the summer months.

“Clearly, in the second half of last year we saw a decrease in sales, but we maintained a core bit of business despite the economic ups and downs,” said Mark Van Ostrand of Van’s RV Center in South Windsor.

“RVs are a very affordable way to vacation especially if you have kids,” he said. “And $15-20,000 buys you a lot in terms of a recreational vehicle.”

For example, an RV selling at the show for $16,900 includes a flat screen television and surround sound – plus everything else you’d expect, he said.

In Connecticut, there are 64 campgrounds open to the public, including 51 private campgrounds and 13 that are run by the state. According to Van Ostrand, a person could camp 10 times a year for 6 years in Connecticut and not visit the same campground twice!

“That’s pretty amazing, especially when you realize that you can drive to almost all of them in less than two hours, and more than half in only an hour,” he said.
Free copies of the Connecticut Campground Guide will be available during the show at the Connecticut Campground Owners Association (CCOA) booth.

The Northeast RV & Camping Show opens today and runs through Sunday.

Show hours are:
Friday, 12 Noon to 9:00 PM; Saturday, 10 AM to 9 PM; Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
Tickets are $11
Children under 14 are FREE
Parking is available in the convention center’s attached garage.

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