EXCLUSIVE: Thor’s Bob Martin Discusses Open House Date

A picture of Bob Martin

The start date has been confirmed for this year’s key industry event, the Elkhart Extravaganza, after the show was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

Thor Industries President and CEO Bob Martin said Open House will begin Sept. 27, a date confirmed by Forest River General Manager Doug Gaeddert.

Martin said Thor has to start “planning like things would be more normal” for Elkhart Open House, although the company still will adhere to state and Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) guidance.

“We have to plan, and if something changes or the state tells us, we have to adhere to what they are asking,” Martin said. “As of right now, in Indiana, the numbers are looking better and they are changing the levels of what you can and cannot do every month. But no one really knows. We will not know until right before.”

Martin said the pandemic’s duration would have surprised him when state sheltering restrictions began in 2020.

“If you asked me about this a year ago, I would have thought this would be gone by now, but last fall we had that spike around September and October,” Martin said. “The U.S. is doing a better job with vaccinations.”

Among the areas which still have not recovered, he said, is international travel.

“I still cannot go to Europe, I have not gone to all of our factories, and I know there are some I have not been to since all this started – out of an abundance of caution,” Martin said. “It has been a very different year for everybody and we are all looking for the world to get back to normal. Until then, we will keep building RVs that people really still seem to want and trying to get our dealer inventories caught up.”

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