105,000 guests checked out this year’s boat show

At­ten­dance up 7 per­cent from 2016

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - MONEY - By Ar­lene Satchell Staff writer BOAT, 12B

FORT LAUD­ERDALE — Boat­ing en­thu­si­asts turned out in droves for the 58th Fort Laud­erdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show, which en­joyed a boost in at­ten­dance fanned in part by sun­nier skies and con­sumer op­ti­mism about the econ­omy.

The 2017 boat­ing spec­ta­cle, which ran Nov. 1-5 across seven lo­ca­tions in Fort Laud­erdale, at­tracted 105,000 vis­i­tors — an in­crease of 7 per­cent from last year, show or­ga­niz­ers an­nounced Tues­day.

The throngs of peo­ple who turned out to buy boats and ma­rine mer­chan­dise, or sim­ply to gawk at the ves­sels, came from more than 50 coun­tries world­wide, In­forma Ex­hi­bi­tions said in a news re­lease.

“Ex­cel­lent weather, a ro­bust econ­omy, re­aligned mar­ket­ing ef­forts and a huge se­lec­tion of new prod­uct of­fer­ings brought en­er­getic crowds to the docks and ex­hibits daily,” said An­drew Doole, In­forma’s vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager.

Sev­eral ex­hibitors re­ported ro­bust sales dur­ing the show­case, in­clud­ing Vik­ing Yachts of New Jersey, which sold 13 boats.

“It was a tremen­dous show, with high en­ergy, brisk sales ac­tiv­ity and great en­thu­si­asm for our new boats … as well as all our other yachts,” Pa­trick Healey, Vik­ing’s pres­i­dent and CEO said.

Vik­ing’s 15-ves­sel dis­play, which in­cluded its new 93 Mo­tor Yacht and the 44 Open mod­els, drew more vis­i­tors than any pre­vi­ous Fort Laud­erdale show — more than 7,000 over its du­ra­tion, the com­pany said.

Other ex­hibitors also saw a no­tice­able uptick in traffic from 2016.

“The 2017 Fort Laud­erdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show brought an in­crease in vis­its to our dis­plays and en­abled us to en­ter into many strong ne­go­ti­a­tions and a num­ber of sales,” said Randy Cole­man, vice pres­i­dent of sales of Fer­retti Group Amer­ica.

Fer­retti Group typ­i­cally sees strong at­ten­dance from U.S. and South Amer­i­can cus­tomers at the Fort Laud­erdale event, Cole­man said.

The an­nual event – con­sid­ered the largest boat show in the world in terms of gross ex­hibitor space and num­ber of ves­sels — had more than 1,400 boats of vary­ing sizes and prices on dis­play.

Show en­hance­ments by In­forma to the tune of $7 mil­lion in­cluded up­grades to docks, elec­tri­cal equip­ment, sig­nage and nav­i­ga­tional aids and ex­hi­bi­tion

MIKE STOCKER/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The boat show ran Nov. 1-5 across seven lo­ca­tions in Fort Laud­erdale. Peo­ple from more than 50 coun­tries at­tended.

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