Sunday, Jan 25, 2015

Set-up begins for Brooksville RV rally


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BROOKSVILLE - Next week, hundreds of motorized juggernauts will roll into the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport to take part in the 16th annual RV rally.

And on Thursday, set-up crews were there installing generators and other infrastructure needed to create what amounts to a mini-city that will be home to the out-of-state RV enthusiasts from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.

This year, there is some apprehension on the county's part because there is talk that the Southeast Area Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) will seek a new site, including one in Volusia County, unless officials here can find a permanent facility to house the many trade shows and attractions for the rally.

The cost of tents and rising costs almost make the event cost-prohibitive, said Jim Duncan, president of the Southeast Area Family Motor Coach Association,

The FMCA board will meet Tuesday to discuss extending a lease with Hernando County to continue the event.

Duncan said he would love to continue holding the annual RV rally in Brooksville but the final vote will be up to the board.

FMCA member Bill Van Kirk arrived two weeks ago to start with the preliminary preparation work for the rally. He admits he got here earlier than normal because he wanted to escape the bad weather up North.

Van Kirk said he's heard through the RV grapevine that chances are poor that the FMCA directors will vote to return here.

"I think they wanted to stay here," he said. "(But) I'm pretty sure this is going to be the last year here."

Conrad Kleinpeter, an FMCA regional vice president, said it would have helped the cause had the county managed to have a permanent structure on-site so as to prevent thousands of dollars spent on temporary tents.

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