INDIO, Calif. - More than 1,200 motorhomes rolled into the Riverside County fairgrounds in Indio for the 26th annual Western Motor Home Association rally. "This is our social activity," said Robert "Rick" Ricordati, the national vice president of the western area family motor coach association. "Everywhere we go, these are all our friends."
The motorhome exhibition, which takes place through Saturday, January 11, is one facet of a rally hosted by a motorhomes owners group called the Western Motor Home Association. The event draws about 3,000 people, mostly thanks to our ideal winter weather. "It's nice and warm," said Mark Brown, who's visiting from Santa Maria, California. "There's no frost on the bumper in the morning."
The Western Motor Home association is part of Family Motor Coach Association, an international organization, for motorhome owners that is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has nearly 80,000 active member families. The four day rally gives friends a chance to catch up, show off their rides, and play games like bingo. It also gives these motorhome enthusiasts a chance to share their passion for living on four wheels with others. "I think it keeps us young," said Toni Brown, visiting from Santa Maria. "I think we're doing something different all the time, so we're broadening our horizons and meeting new people."
The activities stretch outside the fairgrounds, too. The crowds bring business to local stores and restaurants. "Every year, they come in," said Jack Kane, a bartender at Cactus Jack's Grill and Bar in Indio. "THey love to eat, they love to dine, they always ask for the private room and we love taking care of them. They're a good group of people."
Organizers estimate the group will pump about $3 million into the city of Indio by the time the last motorhome leaves. Something the association is happy to do. "We like the community here," said Ricordati.
Members of the public are invited to take part in the motorhome show portion. Display hours for motorhomes are from 1:30 pm until 4:30 pm on Wednesday, January 8; hours for motorhome and other exhibits are 9 am until 4pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Motorhome dealers from throughout California will participate in the show. In addition to the more than 100 motorhomes that will be open for display (including various types and sizes), show attendees can browse through motorhome components, accessories, home products, clothing and accessories and more displayed at approximately 150 vendor spaces. Along with the displays, more than 1,200 families will be arriving in their motorhomes to attend the event and take up temporary residence at the fairgrounds.
Daily admission to the motorhome show is $10 per person for non-FMCA members ($8 for members); children admitted free. This fee is good for admission to the exhibits and seminars only; other activities are reserved for rally attendees.