Tom Moskitis Natural Gas at The International Builders Show

The 2010 National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) International Builders Show (IBS) gets underway today in Las Vegas, Nevada. The expected attendance is around 55,000, nearly half the number that attended the IBS when it was held in Orlando just a few years ago.

This is a reflection of the state of the U.S. housing industry, to be sure, but the good news is that the fall off is almost entirely in the exhibitor category. The number of exhibitors, and the people they have sent to the Show, is off by some 40 percent, but the number of builders has actually held steady from last year.

Still, with over a half million square feet of exhibits, the annual IBS remains the largest light construction trade show in the world. A lot of corporations and organizations have been loyal exhibitors, including the American Gas Association, and the NAHB is expressing its gratitude.

At the Executive Board Meeting held on Saturday, a dozen exhibitors were recognized by name as they have exhibited continuously for over 50 years. The AGA was recognized for its record of 63 straight years, behind only the Kohler Company, the Masonite Corporation and GE, which have each exhibited for 65 years. And these long time exhibitors will be again be recognized on Thursday at the full NAHB Board of Directors Meeting attended by more than 5,000 people.

A large variety of gas equipment and appliances are on display at the IBS, not only in the AGA exhibit but also throughout the convention center in the exhibits of manufacturers of gas products. They point out the tremendous economic, environmental and performance benefits of using natural gas directly in the home. And not just in the home. The giant City Center Complex, a city within a city, just opened in Las Vegas and it is one heck of a natural gas direct use success story! It truly is the talk of the town and I will explain why in my next post.

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