The first NTP-Stag Expo to feature RV and marine industries together brought more than 1,000 dealers and over 300 suppliers to Kissimmee, Florida.
Final numbers were not yet available but exhibitors and attendees said they were pleasantly surprised by the activity on the show floor Monday night and Tuesday.
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton kicked off Tuesday’s activities with a keynote breakfast address. NTP-Stag President Bill Rogers introduced Walton by saying Walton was one of his sports heroes as a member of Rogers’ beloved Boston Celtics.
Walton returned the favor in his speech, calling Rogers “my great friend.”
Rogers said, “He was incredible, truly. What an incredible guy.”
Walton was active throughout both days of the event. His keynote address referenced author Sterling Hawkins’ address the previous day. Walton was on the show floor Monday night, looking over exhibitors’ booths and spending time talking with Carefree of Colorado staff and visitors in Carefree’s booth.
Carefree of Colorado sponsored Walton’s appearance.
Walton told attendees he loved the RV industry and appearing before NTP-Stag and SeaWide Distribution customers.
“This is my lifestyle,” he said, “RVs and boats.”
Walton’s speech discussed his career and life overcoming challenges. He was a lifelong stutterer who became a regular announcer on NBA and college basketball broadcasts. He overcame 39 surgical procedures to repair the effects of birth defects in his feet and a broken back suffered in college.
Walton left attendees with three focus areas to succeed in their businesses and in life. He said the three areas necessary for success are sacrifice, discipline and honor.
“There are no guarantees in life,” he said, “unless you are waiting for a delivery from NTP-Stag/SeaWide Distribution.”
Tuesday’s show floor opened at 9 a.m. and remained active after lunch, as Power Hour deals from Lippert, Southwire and Thetford occurred late in the day.
The evening finished with a reception sponsored by Dometic. Last year’s American Idol winner, Noah Thompson, brought attendees to their feet near the stage with a mix of his country originals and cover songs