At the Saturday (Jan. 22) opening of the 39th Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, which runs through Sunday (Jan. 30) in Quartzsite, Ariz., things were hopping as lines wound around the fenced enclosure with people waiting to get in. According to several long-time attendees and vendors, the number of people camping and participating is at pre-COVID levels – if not higher.

One of those vendors is RV Country, which brought close to 250 RVs to display and retail to consumers. Dealer President Curt Curtis told RVBusiness he was on hand several weeks before the “big tent” opened and noted that many RVs had already been sold.

“When that tent opens it’s going to be a banner year for everyone,” said Curtis, referring to the enormous 39,000-square-foot tent that is the heart of the Quartzsite RV Show. The tent houses vendors with products of all sorts from those directly related to RVs to products more associated with a home show. In addition to the vendors in the tent, more services surround it on the midway and additional facilities are in place for RV maintenance and repairs.

This year’s show is being overseen by promoter Kimmy King. Her father, Quartzsite RV Show founder and longtime promoter Kenny King, passed away last year.

King said that attendance on the first day was back at pre-COVID levels with the walkways jammed with show-goers. “First-time vendors were surprised at how many people were here,” she said.

The specter of the coronavirus, especially the new Omicron variant, did hold some vendors back from attending including the show’s main sponsor, Progressive Insurance. Those same concerns seemed to have no impact on the attendees, though. Camping in the Quartzsite area appeals to RVers from all over because of the generally pleasant weather and a tremendous amount of free camping, predominantly on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Speaking with a number of attendees, Canadians were back in force along with people who travel from colder climates hoping to enjoy warmer weather. 

Those seeking parts and service for their RVs along with gadgets of all sorts have always been a major appeal of the show. But, new this year, RV content creators drew some first-time attendees as well. Among those content creators was Courtni Armstrong, aka The Flipping Nomad, who showed her heavily customized Keystone Montana to people who waited in line for a tour. Not too far from her is a booth specifically for content creator meet-ups sponsored by RVTravel.com and StressLessCamping.com,and across from that was where the band Wicked Truth performed, whose drummer is none other than Anthony Nalli, producer of “The RVers” television show on the RV lifestyle.

“We’re working to bring the old favorites back, but also appeal to the newer RVers,” King said of the new aspects of the show. “This is probably the best opening day I’ve seen.”

Editor’s note: This story was written by Tony Barthel for WOODALLSCM.com.