Annual boat, RV and Sportshow at Kentucky Exposition Center wraps up


by Johnny Archer

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 27 at 8:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- About 600 boats and recreational vehicles packed the Kentucky Exposition Center over the past five days.

“Dealers are asking for more space,” says Keith Ammons, an organizer with the National Marine Manufacturing Association. “All the dealers are expanding their stuff and I think that is a sign of the economy.”

It is the biggest Boat, RV and Sportshow in Louisville in almost a decade.

“Sales dropped 70% year after year when the recession started,” says Dave Landrum. “It affected the dealer networks and the manufacturers.”

Landrum is a boat dealer with Boating Center out of Crestwood, Kentucky. He says the past year has been a good year for selling boats.

“We are up about 20% from last year, which was up from 25% from the year before,” says Landrum. “We are almost back to normal boat sales before the recession.”

It is buyers like the Mosgrove's, out of Louisville, who dealers are relying on in a rebounding economy

“We are looking for something that can hold four people very comfortably, maybe overnight,” says Scott Mosgrove, who is in the market for a new boat. “And the budget is not an issue.”

RV's of all sizes were a hot item at the show. Larry Cunningham of Cunningham Campers sold 21 RV's at last year's show and expects to sell more this year.

“Yesterday was a zoo,” says Cunningham, as he describes Saturday’s attendance. “You could not even get in and out of the campers. There were lines of people trying to get in and get out. It was pretty cool.”

The official numbers are not out yet. But organizers projected about 40,000 people came to the show this year.  Organizers also project that the show will generate $7.8 million of an economic impact.

WHAS11's Johnny Archer has more, just click the video player above and watch.