Despite a troubled economy, organizers of Pleasanton's 21st annual Manufacturers' RV Show aren't worried about attendance numbers at this year's show that starts Friday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
Show manager Mike Nohr said that a combination of dealers offering steep discounts, buyers eager to take advantage of the deals and the long-term cost savings of an RV vacation has created an environment he believes will prove to be a boon for his show.
"It's no secret that dealers are willing to wheel and deal to move product," he said. "But what's most encouraging is what we're hearing about the number of people looking to the future. They want to make a modest investment on an RV now so they can recoup those costs in the coming years by not having to spend money on plane tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars."
Nohr said that a survey conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association found that 45 percent of RV owners are considering purchasing another RV this year "because they appreciate the value they get compared to the more traditional vacations."
A similar study showed RV vacations are 27-61 percent cheaper than other types of vacations, Nohr added.
"Who knows where the economy is going," said Scotts Valley resident Anthony Leimas, who plans on attending the May show. "I've heard it's supposed to get better soon, but I'm not going to bet my vacations on it. With an RV, I know we'll always be able to afford to go on a nice vacation, recession or not."
Consumers can expect to choose from hundreds of new and used models at the show, which runs at the fairgrounds from Friday through Monday, Memorial Day, May 25. The event drew more than 20,000 people last year.
"This year, I expect to see more serious buyers and less looky-loos," Nohr said. "Consumers know they won't see these kinds of prices probably ever again in their lifetime."
The RV show will open at 11 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends and closing at 7 p.m. every day except May 25, when the show will end at 6 p.m. Tickets are priced at $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and are free for those 16 years old and younger. Parking is extra.
For more information, call the show's hotline at (925) 931-1890 or sign on to the show's website at www.rvshow.net.