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Old 07-30-2008, 12:56 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by wingfoot321 View Post
I suspect that Airstream is being very rational. We are at the beginning of a very major change to the RV industry. It is going to take years to see the end result of changes that will be wrought on this industry.
As rational as belt-tightening in Jackson Center might seem when considering this isolated decision, it's equally frustrating once you put it into context with the $300K they paid Jesse James last year to build that "tribute" bike. I mean, as long as they're crying poor - let's imagine how many more rallies they could've supported with that money.

I'm happy to stand corrected if I'm wrong about that price tag, but it sure seems irresponsible to spend it on frivolous stuff... then shrug as they back out on the very events that benefit their customers most.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:55 AM   #30
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I just read an article from the Mpls Star Tribune that the Family Motor Coach had their annual rally recently in Mpls/St Paul. While 10,000 people attended, the # of coaches was down 1,000 from the previous year. Interesting the they had about 300 vendors there. I've never been to an International, but 300 vendors would be pretty interesting in of itself.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:11 AM   #31
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I just read an article from the Mpls Star Tribune that the Family Motor Coach had their annual rally recently in Mpls/St Paul. While 10,000 people attended, the # of coaches was down 1,000 from the previous year. Interesting the they had about 300 vendors there. I've never been to an International, but 300 vendors would be pretty interesting in of itself.
Oh, I'm not sure it'd be fair to compare the WBCCI to FMCA, a much, much larger outfit. Even so, it would be fun to have more vendors at International. I've been encouraging good friends of ours -- she's a really good wearable-art wire wrapper -- to attend at Gillette. Maybe we could all encourage others to attend, too!


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Old 07-30-2008, 11:15 AM   #32
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Oh, I'm not sure it'd be fair to compare the WBCCI to FMCA, a much, much larger outfit. Even so, it would be fun to have more vendors at International. I've been encouraging good friends of ours -- she's a really good wearable-art wire wrapper -- to attend at Gillette. Maybe we could all encourage others to attend, too!


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My point was attendance is down there as well and maybe attendance at International is also playing it's tune with the mothership.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:34 PM   #33
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Ah, now I get it! Mental speediness is not one of my best attributes in the morning!

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Old 07-31-2008, 03:07 PM   #34
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I can just speak from what I know from teaching vocational education. The price of metal, fuel, etc keep going up. My buddy who teaches welding said the cost of his material for class tripled last year. People just can't afford to buy luxury items anymore. The RV dealer where I buy my parts laid off three technicians and some sales people. Even amuzement parks are seeing a decline in customers. Grocery stores are seeing a decline in customers. People are hitting Walmart, Sams Club or Cosco to buy groceries. So it just seems logical the numbers would be down at an RV rally.

The car industry, airline industry, are laying off people.

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:13 PM   #35
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I can just speak from what I know from teaching vocational education. The price of metal, fuel, etc keep going up. My buddy who teaches welding said the cost of his material for class tripled last year. People just can't afford to buy luxury items anymore. The RV dealer where I buy my parts laid off three technicians and some sales people. Even amuzement parks are seeing a decline in customers. Grocery stores are seeing a decline in customers. People are hitting Walmart, Sams Club or Cosco to buy groceries. So it just seems logical the numbers would be down at an RV rally.

The car industry, airline industry, are laying off people.

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Well, the current state of the economy is a direct result of the actions of our government. Since 1980 we have had significant changes in federal tax laws and regulation. The initial impetus for this was yet another implementation of Trickle Down Theory instituted under the Regan administration. This was not the first time this "theory" has been implemented. And the end result is no different either; the middle class has not benefited in any way.

So, here we sit in the 21st century with our economy having largely been exported offshore and corporate execs pocketing huge incomes from companies that are not doing well at all.

Enron was the first to fall. Now we have had 10 banks close their doors, the country's largest savings and loan (WaMu) post a 3.8 billion dollar loss and the 4th largest bank in the country (Wachovia) posting an 8.3 billion dollar loss.

From my perspective this is the tip of the iceberg; fasten your seat belts folks this is going get a lot worse before it gets better.

What we are discussing here about the RV industry is just a microcosm of our economy. We have entered a cycle that is moving rapidly in a downward spiral from which I see no immediate recovery.

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Old 07-31-2008, 06:56 PM   #36
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Well, the current state of the economy is a direct result of the actions of our government. Jim
Yup... and the government is "us" (whatever side of the aisle one's on). The good thing about all this is that we have history to guide us. As bad as it get's, things evolve out of it and end up OK. Am thinking that we have to keep a perspective with "right now" not being the standard but a manifestation. Things have been alot worse, lots better and about the same.

I beleive you're right, things are still evolving and we don't know where it's gonna land. We seem to really be a pretty optomistic bunch that 'bucks up' when we have to.

Weird that technology seems to be growing by leaps and bounds yet we humans evolve slowly... sure changes our expectations, though...
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:20 PM   #37
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Look at this group of people. Many of us are into recycling because that is good for everybody. We recycle airstreams and bring them back to their orginal glory.

I like the last post because that was a post that gives us hope. We as Americans have been in much worse. Times theys a changin, and we need to change with the times.

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Old 08-04-2008, 08:52 PM   #38
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Lots of theories here. None match the explanation I heard in Bozeman. Demographics. The Service Center (not factory) has an aging workforce (see recent ads in Trailer Life) who is not real interested in working away from home during a holiday week...outdoors in the heat. I didn't hear it 1st hand, but I heard the explanation shortly after the Larry Huttle discussion. I will also point out that they were fully booked for work in Bozeman on the 1st official day of the rally.

My experience with an 06....quite good. Very little warranty work or repair. Much better than my previous 2 SOB units.

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:48 AM   #39
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The price of moving an RV around is definitely hitting folks where it hurts. I just received notification that a Monaco Motorhome rally that is held in Greensboro, NC every year and is attended by between 400-500 coaches has been cancelled this year due to lack of participation. Perhaps a sign of things to come.............

Might be time to look for different industry to apply my skills in.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:05 AM   #40
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One of my good friends here in Maryland is a boat broker, he tells me the high end luxury boats are selling steady as always. The small ones too, however the middle sized boats that were his bread and butter are just sitting.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:07 AM   #41
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A lot of this is psychological. We have not had even one quarter of negative growth and the rule is we need two to call it a recession. True, fuel costs are way up and that effects everything that we eat, wear, drive or heat. These costs will probably not come back down much either.

I do believe that oil prices will continue to decline as the congress moves towards more drilling. In the end they will have to as we simply don't have the alternative energy sources available yet. A side benefit of the higher prices is that it makes the development of these alternatives energy forms more economically viable and a lot more capital is being invested these days.

The jobs going overseas are significant for sure, however the unemployment rate is still very low and interest rates are still low as well. I am more concerned about our dependence on other countries for critical materials. Like oil and so on.

In the end it is a matter of what you choose to believe. I surely have seen worse times than this and I firmly believe in my country and the ability of her people to weather this small storm.
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