According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), approximately 55,000 builders, remodelers and other members of the home building industry have "crowded the aisles" of the International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, which concludes today.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), approximately 55,000 builders, remodelers and other members of the home building industry have “crowded the aisles” of the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, which concludes today.

"I'd call it cautious optimism," said Ron Cook of Tamko Building Products in Joplin, MO, one of more than 1,100 exhibitors at this year's event. "It's certainly different than it was last year because we didn't quite know what we were in for," as the country was still in the midst of the biggest recession since the 1930s.

"We came here to network," said Clint Wilson of Hybrid Core Homes in Santa Rosa, CA. The show seemed livelier than last year's event, he said, although he and his colleagues were disappointed that The New American Home, the much-anticipated demonstration home that usually draws huge crowds, was unavailable for touring this year because of financing issues - a problem plaguing other builders throughout the industry.

According to Steve Smith, managing partner at Enertech Manufacturing, LLC of Greenville, IL, builders are particularly interested in learning more about the tax credits available for installing geothermal and other renewable energy heating and cooling systems. "It's been a good, upbeat crowd," Smith said. "I think we all have a more positive attitude for 2010. I've already talked to our marketing folks about getting a bigger booth at next year's show."

The next International Builders' Show takes place Jan. 12-15 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.