[December 2016] More and more people are discovering the treasures of outdoor living and camping. Elkhart Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kyle Hannon believes these experiences are positives for both the camper and the local economy.
Hannon recently wrote an editorial piece for the South Bend Tribune entitled, “Elkhart County’s road to happiness and prosperity.” Much of the US-based manufacturing of RVs occurs in Elkhart county, but the industry reaches much farther, says Hannon. RVs are being sold all over the nation and some are going to other countries.
Although the stereotypical RV owner is a retired white couple, Hannon writes that all types of people with all types of camping equipment are enjoying the great outdoors. The “glampers” are right next to a small pop-up trailer camper or even a tent with people who sleep on the ground. The families play games with each other and have conversations they would never have in a hotel.
Another thing that is good for the RV industry, he says, is the “gateway drug” aspect of camping equipment. Hannon explains that his family has moved from tent camping to van camping, but the next logical step is a towable camping trailer. He notes that these trailers are a very strong part of the RV sales today, especially among young families. After he gets comfortable in his camper, he muses, will he want a larger one? Then one that’s motorized? He notes that a couple of companies in town are counting on his progression.
These RV companies aren’t just selling products—they’re selling a lifestyle, an active lifestyle that is helping us enjoy healthy activities and a healthy environment. Camping leads to hiking, which leads to fishing, which leads to boating, which, Hannon writes, is another important industry in Elkhart County.
Read the entire article in the South Bend Tribune.