July 21st, 2024

RV Expo running in Agri-Food Hub

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2024.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Visitors check out the large selection of RVs at the Lethbridge RV Expo inside the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre on Friday. The show runs through Sunday.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

A $10 admission charge to see an RV show this weekend is new just like the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre where the event is being staged.

The Lethbridge RV Expo, featuring three dealers, is running in the new centre for the first time.

And it’s impressive with dozens of RVs of all types and sizes parked inside the massive exhibition space inside the building.

Three dealers – Prairie Sky RV, Western R.V. and Eldorado RV – joined forces to put on the show and an admission charge was necessary, said the owner of one outlet.

Attila Braun, president and founder of Prairie Sky, said on Friday that higher rents forced the dealers to charge people to search for the RV of their dreams.

But Braun pointed out RV buyers would be spending more time and fuel travelling to different dealers than by just stopping by the Hub.

“We never wanted to charge admission, we wanted to be that one and only event that doesn’t charge,” said Braun.

And for shoppers this weekend, Braun said it’s a buyers market. Post-COVID pandemic issues such as parts shortages which impacted inventory are no longer an issue but Braun said due to the delay in getting product to dealers, many now have stock that is already a year or two old.

And that “aged inventory” in industry parlance means those RVs – despite being brand new – have less value than new stock. So they are being sold at reduced prices.

“It’s good for the consumer,” said Braun, noting the three dealers all have RVs in stock that are one or two years old along with some 2024 models. And the new older models still come with new warranties.

“It’s definitely a buyers market in the RV industry.” And for buyers this show, which opened Thursday, has something for everyone. From lightweight small travel trailers and versatile toy haulers to luxurious Class A motorhomes, there is a huge selection under the bright lights of the Hub, a modern facility where the RVs really shine.

The RV industry is expecting a strong year for sales in both Canada and the U.S. and Braun points out that Albertans love to camp and they love being in the outdoors.

And after the pandemic they want to be out travelling again.

For 2024, buyers will see a few innovations, including from Prairie Sky foldable magnesium e-bikes for camping. These German-engineered, Edmonton-assembled Blaupunkt bikes can be folded in half and easily stored inside and RV, so there’s no need for a person to haul bulky bike racks, said Braun.

For people who want to roam with friends, there are now golf carts available that will seat as many as nine passengers, he said.

The HDK golf carts are popular with car dealers, manufacturing businesses and even larger properties, he said. And they can be equipped with different tires for various terrain.

The expo runs today from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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