July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 169 from centralizing the show on a national scale, the timing is great for snowbird states, such as Arizona or Florida. The camping season for such places begins after Thanksgiving, so holding a show leading into that became another ben- eficial aspect. "Our dealers tend to lean toward the stainless steel and the marine products and higher-grade qualities. And when (retailers) come to the show they see that, and they actually are purchasing a lot of that stuff. So, there's some unique things that we could offer that haven't been offered in the industry in the last, prob- ably, 10 or 15 years," says Tony Paigo, national director of RV sales. "Based on Land 'N' Sea, our presence in the marine industry as No. 1 distributor lends itself to showing this product," he says about dealers solely in the RV market. Land 'N' Sea got into the RV industry after acquiring Bell Recreational Product Group. In 2015, the distributor sought to grow its RV presence nationally, starting with the expansion of its Pompano Beach, Fla., warehouse to add RV product intended for the Southeast region. A sales team was then put in place. Next on the expansion checklist was the Texas area, moving into a large facility in Houston in 2016. In 2017, the distrib- utor expanded its Fresno, Calif., ware- house for RV product on the West Coast. "We've been marching across the U.S. expanding one region at a time," says Schuessler. "We expect to con- tinue to do that with the next region in the Northeast." "It's a big project," says Paigo, "but Brunswick as a company, is unique because it has the wherewithal to put together a national RV distribution com- pany. Brunswick has been able to talk the talk and walk the walk." On Oct. 18, the Land 'N' Sea team expects to welcome between 300 to 350 vendors, setting up booths at South Point's 80,000-square-foot exhibit hall. In 2017, there were about 270 vendors, making this year an increase of about 20 percent. So far, the distributor expects 800 dealerships will attend the event, which is the only one of Land 'N' Sea's four marine shows with an RV focus. RVIA Website Gets a Makeover The RV Industry Association is cur- rently engaged in more than a dozen important initiatives, including re-envi- sioning its annual show, updating its tech training initiatives, working to address the repair event cycle time related to parts and service availability, and integrating the former RV Aftermarket Association into RVIA. Fortunately, communicating those messages has gotten a bit easier thanks to the relaunch of the Association's website, www.rvia.org. The website was refreshed to make it easier for users to navigate the site and to make the content posted there more impactful for viewers. "It's all about better serving the mem- bers and better serving the industry," says James Ashurst, senior VP of com- munications and marketing. "It's things that have needed to happen for a while, and they're happening now." Part of that revitalization is specifying the Association's identity and how the message is broadcasted to newcomers. For instance, Ashurst points out how "recreational vehicle" can be easily mis- taken for four-wheelers and other pow- ersports. Reestablishing itself as the "RV Industry Association" is a small enough distinction that will define the group going forward. Land 'N' Sea expects upwards of 350 vendors to attend its October 2018 combined RV and marine show, up from the roughly 270 vendors that attended the 2017 event (pictured above).

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