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Coming Together in Tulsa – The Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show

May 9th, 2010

The Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show

Welcome sign at The Great Soutwest Manufactured Housing ShowHave I mentioned lately how much I love my job and being a part of the factory built housing industry? Every day is a different journey, and you never know where you’ll end up or who you’ll meet. Tunica gave me a chance to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in awhile, Congress was an incredible opportunity to meet Jim Clayton and hear about his journey, and then before I knew it I was on the road to Tulsa for the Great Southwest Manufactured Housing Show – driving a very large Penske truck, I will add.


Buck Teeter, CEO of American Homestar welcoming visitors
Buck Teeter, CEO of American Homestar welcoming visitors
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

This was my first time attending or working on a home for this show so I wasn’t sure what to expect. After arriving late I found that the movers that were supposed to be there to help put the furniture in my home bailed on me, but my knight in shining armor (also know as Rob Greenlee with Ascot Draperies) went above and beyond and helped me get the furniture in the house and put me ahead of schedule. This pretty much set the tone for week – a community of great people who may be competitors but they were all happy to be there and keep the factory built housing industry moving forward.

Champion Homes of Texas Kitchen
Champion Homes of Texas Kitchen
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

The facilities were beautiful and the staff that worked there were great – they could not have been more helpful. It was also a great thing that the show was indoors – some high winds blew in that would have made it difficult for an outdoor show. Some of the manufacturers went all out – American Homestar and Legacy brought quite a few homes and each did a beautiful presentation of what they do. Hart Housing came all the way from Elkhart, IN – this was their second time to participate and were pleased with the results from last year. Everything from small single sections to modulars was shown, and every home was a great example of what factory built housing can offer consumers. Palm Harbor went all out and had houses that were so extensively decorated they could easily have appeared in a magazine, and Platinum Homes showed a spectacular tiled shower.

Champion Homes of Texas Bath
Champion Homes of Texas Bath
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

One of the really special things that was evident at this show is that there are some manufacturers that have definitely turned the corner, and are back better than ever. I was honored to merchandise the Champion Homes of Texas showhouse, and their new look and options were very well received by retailers and consumers alike. Their new strength is being seen in all areas of their homes and when I spoke with Sales Manager Marc Medders after the show he said they had picked up some new retailers at the show as well as some possible retail sales so they were very pleased with the results from the show. Fleetwood Homes was also there showing what is possible after their merger with Cavco Homes. Ray Parma, General Manager of Fleetwood in Waco stated that they are seeing a lot more activity and that they are now able to bring people back to work that have been laid off for over a year.

Palm Harbor Homes Kitchen
Palm Harbor Homes Kitchen
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

The biggest down side to the show was the lack of retailer support. There seemed to be very little retailer traffic, but the retailers that did attend were very pleased with what they saw. If manufacturers are going to continue to make the financial and personnel commitment to put on shows retailers are going to have to make it worthwhile for all.

Platinum Homes Bath
Platinum Homes Bath
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

I heard good things about the retail days, and I hope this is a trend that will continue. Until consumers understand what we have to offer they’ll continue to look some place else for their new home.

Fleetwood Homes Sunken Living Room
Fleetwood Homes Sunken Living Room
Photos by Lisa Stewart – L.A.S. Photos

We have lost a lot of manufacturers, vendors and people the last few years, but I think that the people who have survived this downturn are here to stay and there are really good things ahead for all of us. If we can continue to work together, participate in the shows and spread the word about what we do there are exciting things coming for all of us.

  1. May 20th, 2010 at 12:10 | #1

    Great photos. As in Tunica, the houses at the Great Southwest Home Show were top notch. Our industry should be proud of what we are building.

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