Hi gang, Rick here at Used Pontoon Boats. Lots of Iowans are dreaming of spring this weekend as an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people flock to the 23rd annual Des Moines Sports, Boat, Tackle, RV and Vacation Show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Carl and Fern Balmer of Marshalltown, who are fishing enthusiasts, were checking out the boats at the show on Saturday inside the fairgrounds Varied Industries Building.
They had their eyes on a Yamaha Alumacraft Angler Tiller that retails for $7.995.
It's nice to see what the new models are and whats available. Who knows? Maybe well get talked into buying one, said Carl Balmer, who is retired from Fisher Controls.
Mark Arends, a salesman with Iowa Falls Marine, said there were lots of interested lookers at pontoon boats and fishing boats. His company had already sold some boat motors Friday night, and he was optimistic that nice weather on Saturday would bring out some boat buyers. Don Marlin and Mike Sertterh, a pair of fishing buddies from Albia, browsed among some expensive watercraft on Saturday and had visions of hauling in lunkers on Lake Rathbun.
I'm seeing what I could have if I had any money, Sertterh said, chuckling. We come up here every year just to think of spring coming.
The Des Moines event is produced by RK Shows Inc. of Manchester, Ia., and it's the first sports show this year in the Midwest, said Waylon Pearson, an RK manager.
�We have about 80 different types of boats, 90 different types of recreational vehicles and campers, and about 250 tables of fishing tackle and tools and knives - about anything a sportsman would want, Pearson said. We also have an Army surplus store here this year.
The soft economy has slowed sales of recreational vehicles a bit, but many Iowans remain interested in purchasing RVs, said Scott Peterson, a sales representative for Autorama RV Center of Des Moines, which has a wide array of products at the show. His business sold one recreational vehicle Friday night and was developing lots of leads.
The consumer is getting used to the gas prices. If you have a hobby, price doesn't really matter, Peterson said. This is very popular, and once you get to your destination, it is very cheap.
Becky and Terry Caldwell of Urbandale toured a 2008 Titan recreational vehicle on Saturday with a pricetag of $51,500. They marveled at the luxury of many of the recreational vehicles, many of which have 26-inch flat-panel televisions, high-quality wood cabinets, and plush carpets, wallpaper and furniture.
They are beautiful. I think this year they have gotten a lot better as far as the interiors, Becky Caldwell said.
Allan and Martha Janssen, owners of Green Valley Resort at Nevis, Minn., were making their 13th annual trek to the Des Moines sports show. Their northern Minnesota resort is popular among Iowans who like to catch blue gill, crappie, walleye and bass.
The Internet is a big thing, and you can make Web pages look very nice, but at these sport shows, the people can meet you, Allan Janssen said. You've got to do it, and it's good business. Thanks to William Petroski, The Des Moines Register.
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Used Pontoon Boats, By Cathy Henry and Rick Ostler
Used Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway
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