My wife and I attended the show on Saturday after delaying from going Friday. I think we would have needed a canoe to get there on Friday due to the storm that hit. The show itself was much smaller then in the past but that was to be expected due to the economy. All the top builders were there and very friendly in their nicely laidout booths. They were all quite busy as might have been expected from the problems on Friday.
We spent a lot of time with one builder that we were interested in and found them much more willing to address changes versus about 3 years ago. We also noted their ability to handle the whole project turnkey and quoted a firm price minus the changes we asked about. They said they would get back to us next week even though we made it clear that we would not be moving forward in the near future.
As we left the show a pollster approached us about answering some questions in return for a $10 gift certificate from Target. We agreed and I filled out the written questionaire which I think was about 5 pages. It was well done with some very good questions. It seemed to center on members of the log home council but then asked questions centered on one main log home company so I'm not sure exactly who was sponsoring it. I would hope all log home builders would get to see the results but who knows.
My only complaint was the choice of locations for this show as it was a disaster. The show was booked the same weekend as a meeting for movie buffs dressed as their favorite characters. We were surrounded by Star War soldiers, spiked hair oriental "people" and a few bikini's. There was a thousand of them. The parking was absolutely ridiculous when you could even figure it out resulting in us having to walk a half mile to get to the hall. There were no signs saying which hall the show was in, no one in the main buildings to direct us, and nothing in the ads telling us where to go. Other log homers were wandering around like we were. I don't think log home shows need to be held in prime vacation spots to attract serious buyers and it is a detriment. The cost of food was as astronomical as the actors, nothing was under $9.50 except a pretzel wrapped hot dog at $5.00. Any thoughts about returning the next day to face the same nightmare went out the window. I personally have done trade shows all over the country and this Orange county center is one of the worse ones I have seen. I would suggest Sarasota next year. It will be half the price, "build it, people will come."
Joe in Sarasota