After spending nearly every waking hour at the Franklin County (Pa.) Builders Show this weekend drumming up business for his Waynesboro-area company, Larry Rush is optimistic about 2013.
“A lot of times at these shows, you talk to a lot of people but it doesn’t produce much work,” the owner of L.T. Rush Stone and Fireplace Inc. said Sunday. “But, at this show, I think there were a lot of people who were serious about having work done and spending money this year.”
With a solid list of leads, he said he has good reason to be optimistic that the economy might be turning around.
“We are just coming out of our slowest period when these home shows start, but it seems more promising than in years before,” Rush said. “It has the potential to produce more work than in the past three or four years.”
James Byers of Byers Home Improvement in Greencastle, Pa., echoed Rush’s sentiments.
“I’m very pleased with the amount of people that have come through,” Byers said. “I’m talking to a lot of people who seem very interested in having me do work on their homes.”
Byers has been setting up at the builders show for 30 years and said it’s typically a good avenue for establishing leads.
Tom Hanks, executive director of the Franklin County Builders Association, said he was thrilled with the success of the show, which began Friday and ended Sunday at the Waynesboro Mall off Pa. 16.
“We were just tickled to death. It was one of the best shows we’ve had in the last several years as far as attendance,” he said.
Between 10,000 and 15,000 browsed the nearly 150 vendors displaying their goods and services.
“On Saturday, we had 500 people lined up to get in at 10 o’clock,” Hanks said.
Patty Caron, Lowe’s project specialist-interiors, said her team got a few leads, but the name of the game was getting the word out about the company’s services.
“We would have liked to get more leads, but it was worth it just to get the word out to the public,” Caron said.
Lowe’s in Waynesboro and Chambersburg do kitchen and bathroom demolition, she said.
“We will gut it down to the studs and do the plumbing, electrical and flooring,” Caron said. “There are only about 300 stores out of the 1,700 that do this work.”
It’s about letting the community know that Lowe’s can do this type of work for them, she said.
“This was great exposure,” Caron said.
It was a positive experience for Aaron Moats, president of AAA Paving and Excavating in Waynesboro.
“It’s been great,” said Moats, who set up at the show for the second time.
“Friday was super busy for starting at noon. Saturday was better yet and today (Sunday) was a little slower, but just as good. I have nothing but positive to say,” he said.
As a businessman, Moats said reserving space at the show was a smart way to spend his money.
“I have leads from people who are interested. This year topped last year for us,” he said.
Hanks said more than 42 boxes of food were collected during admission to the builders show, and given to Waynesboro Community Services and Five Forks Brethren in Christ Church.
Eastern Panhandle show
David Hartley, executive director of the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association, which put on a home show at the Martinsburg Mall over the weekend, said there were good crowds for that event.
Hartley said Sunday night the show featured 227 exhibits from 190 different companies.
Hartley said exhibitors generally felt they had received good responses from people who were ready to “do something soon” in regards to home improvement projects.
“There was a lot of optimism over the way things are moving,” Hartley said.
The home show was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday.