The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Thu May 4, 2017
The Puyallup RV Show continues its long history today as it kicks off in the northwest corner of the United States with a show that has added education, activities and a large contingent of local dealers to the lineup.
The Puyallup RV Show remains one of the increasingly fewer dealer-owned shows in the country. Show Director Dave Helgeson, who has been with the show since the late 70s, says the show has evolved from an entertainment focus to a completely RV-centric event.
“This is a dealer-owned show,” Helgeson says. “We’re here to promote the industry first and make a profit second. As a dealer organization, we have to educate our public and that’s our primary mission statement. Back when we started, it was a trailer show. We were struggling to find out who’s going to pay to see a bunch of trailers. We would hire talent and a stage show and we hoped that people would stay for the trailers. Now, it’s flipped. People come to see the RVs and we bring along talent and entertainment.”
The show features 17 local dealers, with every type and size of RV being shown on the grounds at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup. There are about six of those dealers that have been involved with the Puyallup RV Show for many years, including one – Sumner RV, based in Sumner, Washington – that has been a part of the show since the first year – in 1972.
“We were an association made up of dealers. We formed in 1966 as a coach association that had developed in the ‘50s,” Helgeson says. “We were a leg of that and were sending all the money back to corporate headquarters. All of the dealers decided to form a corporation and we put in money for stock and initial capitalization. Now, it’s a dealer-run show with an elected board that tells me what to do and it’s grown from there.”
Helgeson worked for a dealership when the show started and joined the Puyallup RV Show in 1978, where he worked both for the show and a local Washington dealership. He took over the show director role in 1997.
Back in the early days of the show, the event would attract upwards of 20,000 people throughout the weekend, Helgeson says. He says shows in general, and the Puyallup Show in particular, was a novelty among RVers and it attracted a lot of people.
Today, Helgesen says he expects around 10,000 people throughout the show. However, the footprint has expanded and there are more models on the grounds than there have been before.
“The RV business has gone through cycles throughout the years,” he says. “(The show’s) grown and shrunk as the business has. The industry is on a 40-year high. But also, RVs 40 years ago weren’t 40-50 feet long. A big rig back then was 27 feet. Back in the day, we just had a few booths. Now, we’ve added more people, education, activities and seminars, which we didn’t have back then.”
In addition to the exhibits, booths and RVs for sale, a list of seminars will be presented throughout the show by Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor. Bunzer will talk about RV basics, solar energy, electrical safety and “The RV Doctor’s Top 10 RV Facts of Life.” Additionally, several seminars by Washington-based supplier Torklift will be presented and a live hitching demonstration will be shown.
Tickets cost $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children 17 and under are free. For each ticket purchased at the gate, MHRV and WSECU will each donate $1 to Washington State Parks.
The show will run May 4-7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit puyalluprvshow.com.