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
  • Drew Industries has record 2nd quarter ELKHART — Drew Industries Inc., the parent company of Lippert Components, has reported record sales in its second quarter.The company manufactures components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes.The company reported net income of $18.6 mi

    August 1, 2014

  • BIZ GN140801 eby ford image 02 Eby Ford renovates showroom and more GOSHEN — The remodeled and expanded Eby Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership was celebrated Thursday night during an open house and ribbon cutting. “Without our awesome customers, we wouldn’t be here,” said owner Todd Eby as he addressed the crowd of fr

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Economy GDP-3 [Duplicate] U.S. economy heating up First quarter growth hits 4 percent

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0731 soapy gnome image 02 Soapy Gnome offers sustainable skin-care products GOSHEN — You can smell the fragrant products in the Soapy Gnome shop before you get to the front door. Tucked in a walkdown storefront at East Lincoln Avenue, at 111B, Jenny Frech and her husband Jeremy Friesen recently moved the store to the locati

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Amazon Fire breaks ground for phones NEW YORK — What I find fascinating about Amazon’s Fire phone isn’t the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products.Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought to work

    July 28, 2014 5 Photos

  • News and South Bend Tribune reach delivery agreement GOSHEN — The Goshen News announced today it has reached an agreement with the South Bend Tribune to have its newspaper carriers deliver the Goshen News in Elkhart, LaGrange and Kosciusko counties. According to Publisher Ron Smith, the agreement will

    July 28, 2014

  • BIZ GN140727 urban gypsy image Crafters open Urban Gypsy & Co in Goshen GOSHEN — A shop filled with colorful and fragrant items along East Lincoln Avenue has become part of the growing arts and artisan culture in the city.Urban Gypsy & Co. is at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.Missy Wrathell, Elkhart, and McKenzie Beiler and Kristin

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PicPlayPost: App to create dynamic collages If you have a smartphone, you’ve likely seen and used various photo collage apps that allow you to add multiple photos that are then combined into one image collage. There are many to choose from and they all work about the same.PicPlayPost is differ

    July 27, 2014

  • Fast Food Workers Convention-3 [Duplicate] Fast food workers push wage hike CHICAGO — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the ef

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

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
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results