In February, the Billings RV & Boat Show was among the first events back at MetraPark.
Organizers called that turnout incredible and the first show went so well that Bretz RV & Marine decided to have a second show at the Expo Center this weekend.
"When COVID was happening, we didn't know if we'd be able to have the show in February so we reserved the dates," said Dustin Bretz, Bretz RV & Marine operations director. "And then after the show, we had a lot of people say they weren't able to make it, so we decided to do an encore show to our February event down here."
Many are ready for camping and boating.
"Way more enthusiasm for, not just the campers and the boats but new stuff like offroad trucks and tents," he said. "There's enthusiasm to get outside anyway people can. Boating is just taken off like crazy. Everybody's wanting to get out on the water, somehow, whether it be in a fishing boat or a pontoon."
Bretz said business is good.
"Our business in Missoula as well as here in Billings is doing very well," Bretz said. "With the current climate of what we can do as far as being able to go out and go camping, and people are feeling more and more comfortable with the COVID numbers where they are to be able to do that and feel safe.
"My grandfather, who started the business said that as long as American families want to recreate, no matter what, it will be the last thing they give up," he added. "And we see that every time there's a recession. We saw that through the pandemic, and families still want to get out and spend time together. It may mean that they go camping closer to home than rather than taking the trips to Disneyland, but even when things get tight they figure out a way to still get out with the families."
Bretz says it's hard to tell how many people will come to the second show, but it is drawing from out of the area and out of the state and provides a unique opportunity in Billings.
There are three more days left for the show.
It runs Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.