LOUISVILLE, Ky.—It's not quite April, but it's close. The International Tire and Rubber Association has changed the dates of next year's World ITRA Expo from June 8-10 to May 2-4. For most of its history, the ITRA show always occurred in April.
Next year's convention and trade show will run from Tuesday through Thursday at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
The ITRA Education Foundation Golf Outing will be held Monday, May 1, the day before the convention starts.
The new dates, which the ITRA board unanimously approved Sept. 2, resolve a major complaint about the 1999 convention.
Held outside of Louisville for the first time in 42 years, that show took place in June—an extremely busy month for commercial tire dealers and retreaders, said ITRA Executive Director Marvin Bozarth.
``Many people told me they were unable to come last year because of graduations, weddings, vacations and employee vacations,'' Mr. Bozarth said.
At the same time, the retreading and commercial tire business ``picks up dramatically in May in most parts of the country,'' he said.
The new dates also resolve a potential conflict with next year's Reifen 2000, Europe's largest tire and retreading convention, scheduled for June 20-23 in Essen, Germany.
The original World ITRA Expo time slot would have put the shows within two weeks of each other, posing a problem for exhibitors wanting to attend both events, Mr. Bozarth said. ``This gives us six weeks between the two shows.''
To secure the May dates, the Opryland Hotel moved another show to accommodate the ITRA, he said.
The ITRA also considered returning the show to Louisville, where it was held for 41 years. But that, too, would have necessitated displacing another show, he added, and would have required a long period of negotiation.
So ITRA's board settled on the May dates in Nashville.
As for 2001, the ITRA World Expo is slotted for April 19-21 at the Opryland Hotel, although the association has not yet committed to those dates, Mr. Bozarth said.