Organizers of Nation's Largest Indoor U.S. Boat Show Get Ready for More Motivated Crowd This Year
HOUSTON, TEXAS, (December 21, 2010) After an economic downturn had boat and camper sellers bracing for the worst, there seem to be signs of a recovery. The Houston International Boat, Sport and Travel Show, the largest indoor show of its kind in the country, will open its doors at Reliant Center on January 7 – 16, and organizers believe crowds will be bigger and will include more serious boat and camper buyers.
For many years, experts have turned to boat and camper sales as an economic indicator. Several factors have resulted in a drop in boat and camper sales over the past few years, including the obvious—plummeting discretionary spending due to loss of jobs and fears about the economy in general. Also, in the midst of a record number of foreclosures, creditors tightened their belts, making it very difficult for potential boat and camper buyers to get financing.
Despite this, the Houston Boat Show has ridden out the economic storm as many other boat shows in the country have shut their doors.
Houston Boat Show President Ken Lovell says local boat and camper dealers have dealt with slower sales, but at the same time Houston has many more boating and travel opportunities compared to other areas of the country, "When it comes to boating, we have every type of body of water you can imagine at our backdoor. Also, Texas has very easy access to the water with hundreds of free or very low cost boat ramps, and there are plenty of storage facilities. So it's easier and much less expensive to operate a boat here. The same goes for operating a camper in Texas—you don't have to waste much gas to get to an amazing camping area."
Lovell says, "We have seen so many give up their pricey vacation homes and expensive airfares in exchange for a new boat or camper, which opens the door to so many more fun and cost-effective options—close to home or out of state." In addition, he says creditors, suffering from a decline in car sales, have loosened their restrictions on boat and camper financing.