- Associated Press - Friday, August 4, 2017

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) - A study has found that expanding the size of the RV Hall of Fame could bring many visitors to northern Indiana.

Johnson Consulting and Development Concepts Inc. presented the study to the Elkhart County Redevelopment Commission on Thursday, The Elkhart Truth reported . The study examined the impact of adding 60,000 square feet to the property as well as a 20,000-square-foot pavilion.

The commission paid the companies $50,000 for the study in October.

The expansion could bring in an additional $2 million in revenue and draw 250,000 people a year, said Charlie Johnson, president of Johnson Consulting. Events like trade shows and food festivals could draw people to the location, he said.

Development Concepts Founder and President Mike Higbee said Elkhart County is one of the fastest growing visitor markets in the state and that it could support the increased tourism.

The expansion and pavilion are expected to cost up to $14 million, said Darryl Searer, president of the RV Hall of Fame.

Searer said the study shows the venue has a bright future.

The hall has reduced its debt from $5.5 million to $800,000 over the past five years. It currently has 18,000 square feet in event space.

“We will be out of debt this time next year,” Searer said. “We will raise the money before we take a shovelful of dirt.”

Several thousand people work at RV-related factories in Elkhart County, which produces over three-quarters of the country’s RVs, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.


Information from: The Elkhart Truth, https://www.elkharttruth.com

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