Outdoor enthusiasts explore the Huntington RV & Boat Show
HUNTINGTON — Outdoorsy folks yearning for warmer weather to cure their cabin fever got a chance to start planning their upcoming year of recreation as the 38th annual Huntington RV & Boat Show took place this weekend at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Four boat dealers, two RV dealers and several representatives from outdoor destinations as close as Beech Fork State Park all the way to Myrtle Beach created a one-stop shop for outdoor enthusiasts and families to plan their upcoming year of recreation.
The show continues from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Show coordinator Jeff Scott said it attracts between 3,200 and 3,500 people each year, which he said is a smaller number for such an expo, but it makes the interactions between the potential buyers and the dealers more involved and personal.
“You know Appalachia is just a wonderful place to be outdoors, and a lot of people just love this lifestyle,” Scott said. “I just like to see them come here and see there are a lot of opportunities for them and a lot of businesses to support their interest and their desires.”
Lynn Butler, owner of Setzer’s World of Camping in Huntington, said the show attracts people who are looking into purchasing an RV as well as those who already own a new one and just want to see what is new.
She said the show gives families a chance to see if an RV is a viable option for them, both financially and to find an option that would fit their needs.
Butler said the RV industry continues to make campers lighter and stylistically more modern in addition to upgrading safety and durability. RVs now can come with amenities like fireplaces, sound systems and outdoor kitchens.
Phil Daniel, owner of Great Outdoors Marine in Lavalette and one of four boat dealers at the show, said the biggest thing in boating continues to be pontoon boats, an industry he said has been growing for the past 15 years as pontoon boat manufacturers continue to make them more comfortable and add more amenities.
“It’s like you’re outdoors boating, but you’re on a couch,” Daniel said. “It’s like you’re in your living room and you take your living room onto the nearest lake or river.”
Additionally, pontoon boats come in a range of price points that could fit a variety of budgets.
Butler said people also attend the show to meet other outdoor enthusiasts and exchange campsites to visit.
“It’s kind of like a community,” Butler said.
Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.