RV PRO

June '16

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6 • RV PRO • JUNE 2016 rv-pro.com E arlier this year, at the RV Industry Association's Annual Meeting in Tucson, those of us attending a speech on the state of the presidential race heard noted political pollster Neil Newhouse predict that the two eventual major party nomi- nees would be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. For my part, I didn't believe him. Or at least, I didn't want to believe him. My thought was that, in a country of nearly 324 million people, surely someone a bit more … presidential … would eventually emerge. Now it seems as though the race is firming up exactly as Newhouse predicted, and nearly every day on the TV, on the radio, and in the newspapers there is a new story elaborating on the character flaws of one or both of the candidates. It could be easy to be discouraged. But I'm not worried. Based upon my own conversations with dealers, distributors, manufacturers, sup- pliers and others, business is good and there's not any reason to think things are going to change anytime soon. Almost all of these industry professionals are telling me that the economic indicators they look at – including strong RV shipment numbers, good attendance at RV consumer shows and strong consumer confidence – are positive and they are taking steps to grow their respective businesses. The RV industry's resilience has already been proven by the fact that over the years it survived the Great Recession, oil boycotts, high interest rates, political unrest, and large-scale natural disasters, to name just a few setbacks. The industry will survive a new president as well, whomever it ends up being. Congratulations, Jayco, on 1 Million RVs While it seems like the RV industry is breaking records and celebrating new mile- stones nearly every day now, there was an event in April that was truly special and is worth mentioning here: Jayco produced its 1 millionth RV. Jayco's milestone is particularly impressive when you consider the RV maker's very modest roots: Founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager started the business on the family farm in Middlebury, Ind., building camping trailers in their barn. That first year, the company produced 138 camping trailers. At that time, many small RV makers entered (and just as quickly exited) the market, but Jayco persisted in large part because its products combined old world craftsmanship with some pretty innovative technology, including the unique lifter system for its fold-down trailers. Fast forward to today, and Jayco – still owned by the Bontrager family – employs 1,600 people and is the largest privately owned RV manu- facturer in the U.S. While Jayco's story is noteworthy for how successful the business has become, it is reflective of the larger industry, and of the country, in which determined individuals with an idea, determination, a willingness to take risks and to work hard ultimately find success in business. No matter the size of the business, these are the stories we love sharing in the pages of RV PRO. As always, thanks for reading. Bradley Worrell Editor brad@nbm.com No Need to Panic P.O. Box 1416, Broomfield, CO 80038 (800) 669-0424 • (303) 469-0424 FAX (303) 469-5730 • rv-pro.com P.O. Box 1416, Broomfield, CO 80038 ©2016 National Business Media, Inc., all rights reserved. RV PRO (USPS 024-712) is published monthly by National Business Media, Inc., 2800 W. Midway Blvd., Broomfield, CO 80020.; (303) 469-0424; Fax (303) 469-5730. 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PUBLISHER: Chris Cieto (800) 669-0424, ext. 253 / ccieto@nbm.com EDITOR: Bradley Worrell (800) 669-0424, ext. 299 / brad@nbm.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Travis O. Pryor (800) 669-0424, ext. 284 / tpryor@nbm.com DIGITAL CONTENT EDITOR: Jesse Sidlauskas (800) 669-0424, ext. 295 / jesse@nbm.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Wendy Miles (800) 669-0424, ext. 254 / wmiles@nbm.com Ryan Moorhead (800) 669-0424, ext. 216 / ryan@nbm.com SALES SUPPORT: Ashley Banks (800) 669-0424 ext. 215 / abanks@nbm.com ART DIRECTOR: Kim M. Wright GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Dayne Pillow MULTIMEDIA PRODUCER: Andrew Bennett CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Steve Bibler, Mike Harbour, Stephanie Patrick, Tamarind Phinisee, Jan Kelly and Steve Nickelsen NATIONAL BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. PRESIDENT & CEO Robert H. Wieber Jr. VICE PRESIDENT / FINANCE Kori Gonzales, CPA VICE PRESIDENT / INTEGRATED MEDIA John Bennett VICE PRESIDENT / PUBLISHING & MARKETS Dave Pomeroy VICE PRESIDENT / AUDIENCE Lori Farstad DIRECTOR OF IT Wolf Butler

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