Dealers peruse RVs that are on display during Elkhart, Ind.’s RV Open House.

Time will tell whether the extravagance on display at the Elkhart (Ind.) RV Open House going on this week pays off with business for manufacturers and suppliers, according to the South Bend Tribune.

A successful show will be measured in billions of dollars in orders from the 3,000-plus dealers in attendance at the annual event, which now stretches nearly seven miles from the RV/MH Hall of Fame to the Elkhart County Airport.

It’s a show designed to bedazzle dealers from around the country who are being treated to top-shelf foods, beverages, lots of expensive giveaways as the big manufacturers vie for their business.

Big-time entertainment is also part of the game.

Keith Urban performed Tuesday (Sept. 24) night on a massive stage built in the 36-acre site where Thor Industries Inc. is displaying some 550 RV units. The second largest RV maker, Forest River, entertained its dealers on Wednesday night at its massive site with Styx, as well as Big and Rich.

Darryl Searer, president of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, pointed out that the show, which was started by Forest River about 12 years ago, continues to expand and now includes about 82 suppliers who are displaying inside Ingram Hall at the Hall of Fame.

“The dealers are here to see the manufacturers,” said Searer. “But the suppliers are here to mostly attract the attention of the purchasing agents from the factories.”

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