Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

September 18, 2013

As economy improves, annual RV Open House shows that recession is in the rear-view mirror

ELKHART — The RV Open House had a different kind of kick-off this year. That’s fine with Dustin Johns.

“I’m always happy to see the sun shine,” the president of New Paris-based Travel Lite said Tuesday afternoon. In 2012, the Open House began with two days of rain.

Johns was sounding an upbeat tone Tuesday. He wasn’t alone.

Thousands of dealers from across North America are expected to visit Elkhart County during the official three-day run of the sixth-annual Open House. Begun by Forest River as a smaller, company-only event, the recreation vehicle showcase has since grown to include most of the RV companies in this area.

Bob Martin, president and chief executive officer of Thor Industries, was expecting people to show up at the industry showcase Tuesday. And they, apparently, were eager to be there.

“We officially opened at 9 (a.m.),” Martin said. “There were people waiting in line at 8 to get in. There were people sneaking in (Monday). Just trying to see what’s new and trying to get the advantage, and if there’s a new line everybody wants to know if they can try to figure out if they can get it before their competitor.”

Both Martin and Johns were highlighting their products on the grounds of the RV/MH Hall of Fame near C.R.s 17 and 6. Johns said Travel Light has been part of the truck camper industry for more than 15 years. The company has also expanded into travel trailers, with a focus so far on smaller-size trailers.

Johns indicated Travel Lite has grown more than 300 percent in the past three years, adding that other manufacturers are showing gains, too.

“You can see the climb out of the recession,” he said.

Martin was with the Keystone division of Thor during that recession.

“It was a tough time,” he recalled, with companies pulling back, retracting and shutting down plants. Fast-forward a few years and there’s a brighter picture.

“The travel trailer and fifth-wheel side of the business has caught back up to close to where it was pre-recession years, and motorized is just starting to trend that way as well,” Martin said. “For us, we’ve been growing our business and growing market share.”

Martin pointed out that Thor’s seven RV companies have separate displays at the event, with more than 350 combined units.

Johns said the Elkhart Open House gets bigger every year. He also compared it with the Louisville show, which he said has been the predominant RV show for decades.

“With the expense of that show, the distance away from our home base here in Elkhart, I think this is the way to go,” Johns said. “It’s not free to show our units (here), but it’s certainly not nearly as expensive as to haul them down to Louisville.”

In his view, September weather has benefits over a wintertime trek hauling units to Louisville.

Martin sounded a similar theme.

“Typically, there’s been a shift in the industry from December to September as far as showing new products,” he said. Martin said Thor still has a presence in Louisville, but added, “The bulk of what we present that is new and sell has really become an open house September timeframe that works out better for the dealers.”

Text Only
Business
  • Amazon Kindle Service [Duplicate] Amazon unlimited e-book service is limited NEW YORK — Amazon’s new “unlimited” e-book service lets you read 600,000 books. That sounds like more than you’ll ever read, but I found myself struggling to find the books I wanted. It turns out that the library of 600,000 is bit like a small bookst

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140720 blue barn berry farm image 01 New berry farm also offers classes, treats SYRACUSE — A retirement hobby has grown into a new agriculture-based business for a local family.Don and Peggy Bucher and Shanda and Chris Sheeren are members of a farm family who operate Bucher Farms along N. 300 East. According to Shanda, her mothe

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN140720 mike gingerich column image Online marketing methods to grow sales Growing sales through selling online is a powerful way to reach more people and extend your market.To sell online means getting in front of the right people in the right places. You want much more of a laser focus than a scattershot approach. It also

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local job numbers up, but so is jobless rate A growing number of people looking for work in Elkhart County has boosted the unemployment rate despite an increase in the number of jobs.According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Elkhart County’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent in J

    July 19, 2014

  • Microsoft-Goodbye Android-3 [Duplicate] Axed Nokia X phones suffered from lack of identity NEW YORK — The Nokia X phones that Microsoft discontinued this week blend two rival operating systems, but leave out the best of each.As a result, the devices didn’t become a runaway hit as Nokia’s low-cost answer to serving emerging markets.Nokia X

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Obama opens Eastern Seaboard to oil search ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. — Opening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil exploration for the first time in decades, the Obama administration on Friday approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound wave

    July 18, 2014

  • Planners limit use of Hawks building GOSHEN — The types of businesses that could potentially be located in the recently refurbished Hawks building in downtown Goshen could be limited if a ruling by the Goshen Plan Commission Tuesday holds up. During Tuesday’s meeting, commission members

    July 15, 2014

  • BIZ GN140714 commodore image Commodore adds space, jobs GOSHEN — The Commodore Corp., which operates Commodore Homes of Indiana, a producer of modular and manufactured housing, has completed and is now operating a 17,400-square-foot plant expansion and renovation.Commodore has also broken ground on the ne

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN0713 tech talk with mike column image 02 Online marketing methods to grow sales Growing sales through selling online is a powerful way to reach more people and extend your market.To sell online means getting in front of the right people in the right places. You want much more of a laser focus than a scattershot approach. It also

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0714 DIY coffee 01 BEANS AND BREWS GOSHEN — Do-it-yourself beer, wine and coffee enthusiasts located in the Goshen area now have their very own one-stop supply shop with the opening of the new downtown specialty store DIY Coffee and Ale Supply.Located at 114 E. Washington St. next to

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results