November '19

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42 • RV PRO • November 2019 rv-pro.com O P E N H O U S E C O V E R A G E ELKHART, Ind. – Now in its 12th year, September's Elkhart Open House Week was bigger (and arguably better) than ever. This year's event featured several new manufacturers debuting RVs, more suppliers showcasing more of their wares than ever, existing RV makers rolling out tons of new models and new features on existing units, and everyone competing for dealers' attention with lavish buffets, top-notch music acts and more. Detailed here are just some of the things from Open House Week that stood out to RV PRO's intrepid reporting staff. RVTI Grand Opening Kicks Off Open House Week Politicians, company CEOs and leaders of the RV industry gathered on the first day of Open House Week for the grand opening of the RV Technical Institute in Elkhart. Originally conceived as a way to improve Repair Event Cycle Times, the RVTI was made a reality by the hard efforts of the RV Industry Association and its various members. "Today marks the first day" for industry-wide trained techni- cians, said Curt Hemmeler, RVTI executive director. During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 3333 Middlebury St. location, he went on to thank the industry and donors for their support. Some major names in attendance for the ceremony included Jayco's Derald Bontrager, Newmar's Matt Miller, Dometic's Dave Schutz, Forest River's Doug Gaeddert and RVIA Interim President Craig Kirby. "We knew that it would be a business project requiring support across all sectors of the RV industry," said Kirby. "And that's exactly what happened." Reps from RVTI licensed partners, the Camping World Technical Institute and Texas's Windham School District, also were in attendance. "Our focus will be teaching the new recruits coming in who will go to school with us for the full 10 weeks all at one time," said Sharonne Lee, senior director of education. By Travis O. Pryor, David MacNeal, Steve Bibler and Ronnie Wendt ELKHART OPEN HOUSE WEEK FIELD NOTES Buying and selling was still the name of the game during the 2019 Open House Week, but there was plenty more for dealers to do and see. Elkhart Rocks Dealers During Open House Week

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