Aerial view of the Heart of Oklahoma facility in Shawnee, Okla.

The number of RV renting spaces for rallies at the RV park at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Okla., more than doubled in the last year, generating more revenue for Shawnee in the process.

There were 6,074 rigs that stayed at the RV park in 2010. This generated approximately $91,110 in revenue for Shawnee. So far, 2011 that number is at 10,0803, which has generated approximately $162,045 in revenue, Expo Operations Manager Mike Jackson said, the Shawnee News Star reported.

The number of RVs that rented a space for a rally in 2011 was 4,480, up from 2,051 RVs in 2010, Jackson said.

The Expo center has six RV rallies booked for 2012. There were eight rallies total in 2011, and about six in 2010. There are two or three additional rallies considering Shawnee as their rally point. National RV rallies are sometimes booked up to two years in advance, Jackson said.

The RV park at the Expo Center can be booked for big rallies with numerous rigs attending. This usually increases sales tax revenue for Shawnee because the attendees spend money at stores in town, Jackson said. The Expo also accommodates RV motorists who are passing through and need a place to hook up their appliances for the night.

“There is never a time that there is not at least two to three rigs in that park. So, we’re well known around, and we are easy to get to off the highway,” Jackson said.

The increase is due to an aggressive marketing campaign by the Shawnee Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Expo Center, Jackson said.

“The whole goal is to promote the park and get RV business here,” he said.

The Expo Center provides 30-amp electricity service, which is outdated because many RVs currently use 50 amps, Jackson said. Because of the low amperage the Expo center charges RV owners $15 per night to park and use electricity, but that will increase when the Expo upgrades to 50 amps sometime next year.

Shawnee City Commissioners authorized city staff to solicit bids on parking lot improvements at the Expo Center and Amp upgrades for the RV park during the last commissioners meeting. Workers are currently checking specifications for the 50 amp upgrade at the RV park and officials hope to have those completed next week, Jackson said.

“I’m hoping that I can send out specs and start getting bidders … toward the first of December,” Jackson said.

Jackson expects the projects to begin around the middle of January. He is not sure how much the Expo Center will charge for 50 amp services but said that some places charge up to $40 per night.