Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RVers help turn Barks to Bucks

Lompoc Record - Lompoc,CA,USA
The dogs may have left Ryon Park, but a substantial number of their owners' dollars will be staying in town.

The Lompoc Valley Kennel Club hosted several events for dogs and handlers last week, culminating in all-breed dog shows Saturday and Sunday.

Kennel club Chairman Pete DeSoto said participation was down this year by 200 to 300 dogs per show, but that the more than 1,300 dogs that did compete still represented a major contribution to local businesses.

“These people come in on Wednesday or Thursday and they're here through the weekend. These dogs come here with their motor homes, and their trainers and their handlers and it's great for business,” said Denny Anderson, executive director of the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Among the dog show participants still packing up their motor homes in the park Monday morning was Suzie Playter, of Lancaster.

“Everybody needs a lot of gas in their RVs,” Playter said of her fellow motor home owners.

The dog show organizers said there were about 165 motor homes brought to this year's show, down from the typical number of more than 200. DeSoto said he thought rising fuel costs contributed to the decline, but said the turnout was still strong for the show.

Playter said she did not eat out much during her stay, but did have to fill up her 75-gallon tank, and would shop at a local retail store for road supplies.

Kevin Reynolds, who ran a food booth at the dog show, was just leaving the city Monday morning, as well. Reynolds said he and his friends had enjoyed a nice dinner at La Botte Italian Restaurant, and he also restocked many of his food supplies at local stores.

“I spent probably $1,000 in supplies at Vons,” Reynolds said.

Monday morning he was back at Vons to fill up his motor home for the drive up to Oregon for another dog show. The bill was more than $130.
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