The South Bend-Elkhart region manufactures approximately 80% of all RVs in America. Furthermore, it manufactures the majority of amenities and parts that go into them. From large luxury RVs with televisions and sound systems to "toy haulers" for transporting smaller recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, dirt bikes, or ATVs, there is no doubt that the area is the capital of RV manufacturing. Yet this fact makes it easy to overlook something even more important.
This region produces more than campers and RVs. There are many companies in the area manufacturing boats and other outdoor recreation products. We build recreational equipment and vehicles that facilitate the enjoyment of the outdoors for families all across the country. What we have is not just an RV industry, but a thriving outdoor industry that we should be proud of. The products that we make here help individuals nationwide experience the outdoors, and get closer to nature.
Camping and outdoor recreation is a thriving industry that includes many different types of activities that families can enjoy throughout the year. By celebrating more than just the RVS we manufacture, we can bring attention to the many fantastic companies in the area producing a wide range of outdoor products. Our concentration of outdoor equipment and recreational vehicle manufacturing makes us a hub for the outdoor industry. Acknowledging this can help our local businesses grow and attract entrepreneurs and companies to the area.
Every year, more and more people discover the joy of outdoor recreation. Whether it is camping, boating, fishing, or canoeing, there is a bevvy of family friendly outdoor activities for everyone. The continuing trend of filling the calendar with outdoor activities for the summer months means that there is still much room for the outdoor industry to grow. People have a desire to get back in touch with nature and spend some time away from the concrete jungles of the city.
Research has shown that spending time outdoors and surrounded by nature can greatly improve mental and physical health. As individuals become more health conscious and aware of the need to disconnect every now and then, outdoor recreation becomes increasingly popular. For many families, summer months are filled with camping trips, hiking, biking, and swimming. Even during the winter months, outdoor activities such as skiing or snowboarding attract many. The potential for growing our outdoor industry in this region is immense.
In order to do so, we must start by recognizing that we offer much more than RVs. Our region is capable of manufacturing a wide range of outdoor products that are in high demand by consumers. By positioning ourselves as a hub of the outdoor industry, we can make our community much more prosperous. We can give the many companies producing outdoor equipment in the area the recognition they deserve and attract others to set up shop in Michiana. Sometimes all it takes is a new perspective in order to bring about positive changes to the community.