With the economy's bumpy road throughout 2009 we are pleased that our search numbers were actually up by almost exactly 500 over 2008. So while it wasn't the usual annual increase that we have seen over the last decade, it was a gain in a year where most "numbers" were down. Also, things are looking good for 2010 with 485 contractor searches logged as of February 1.
This seems to indicate a continuing trend of people searching for quality contractors, in these times when maintenance budgets are stretched property managers and owners wanting to make sure they get quality workmanship for every dollar. Comparing this to January of last year, we should continue the trend of having more searches than the previous year -- something that has happened every year our first decade except for 2006 when the economy was rolling and searches spiked dramatically, fell back a bit in 2007, then resumed their pattern of normal yearly growth evidently continuing into 2010.
As our new directors get to work we are looking at some exciting things to celebrate our 10th anniversary and kick off our second decade - most notably a 10th anniversary cruise. The cruise line industry has been suffering from the downturn in the economy and has been offering great rates for cruises to groups such as our association. NPCA tried to quickly put something together for this spring; however, the earliest we could have booked cruises would have been late April, and many of our members are just starting their season at that point, and it wouldn't be good timing.
So we're looking forward to the possibility later this year of having a "Pavement Party Cruise" that would provide an opportunity to network with other members, offer member's-only educational sessions, a member's meeting and perhaps a "keynote banquets." By joining the NPCA meeting to the cruise the event becomes tax deductible for the members, making for a nice vacation members and their families. (In fact rates we got so far would give the best discounts to a family of four, but any member would see significant savings over normal cruise rates.
Feel free to join us on our discussion forums as the year goes on, and we try to figure out what the best time would be so the most people could go (as well as which points of departure to use and whether to do the four or seven day cruise). We welcome you to come join us for our 10th anniversary year as we look forward to the best year ever, and an even better second decade as we move into a this changing economy; keeping up with all of the new technology in the pavement world and available to us as an association to offer ever better benefits to our members.
For more information about NPCA and its benefits visit www.PavementPro.com.