Keep on Truckin' at the Expo Center
It's the largest annual event for the heavy duty trucking industry. Thousands of visitors are in Louisville for the next three days to attend the locally produced Mid-America Trucking Show.
The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates 65,000 visitors are in town for the show. One of them is Scott Pekar of Lexington who works for Mack Trucks. "We come here to create awareness of our products, interact with customers, and ultimately to sell trucks,"says Pekar.
There are all kinds of products and services related to the trucking industry that have taken over just about all of the Expo Center.
Freightliner product manager Ivan Neblett from South Carolina is showing off a huge gold and red cab. Called the Coronado, the $114,000 cab is ready to roll for the driver who likes to ride in comfort.
Neblett says behind the drivers and passenger seats is what they call the driver's lounge for those who spend a lot of time on the road. There is room for a small table and two chairs that can be converted into an upper and lower bunk for sleeping. "But it also has provisions for a TV, a microwave and a refrigerator right behind the driver's seat, " adds Neblett.
The Mid-America Trucking Show is produced by Exhibit Management Associates, a Louisville based company. Its six employees work the entire year planning the show. "My grandfather started the show back in 1972, now I'm kind of running the show," says company president Toby Young.
The show has been staged in Louisville every year since 1972.
Earlier this week the company announced that it had signed a new contract with the Expo Center to continue the show here in Louisville for another ten years. Says Young, "We looked at a lot of different facilities, a lot of different cities, but in the end we just decided this is where we want to be."
The show means a lot to Louisville. The estimated economic impact is $14 million, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.