RISE OF A POW­ER­HOUSE

Over 58 years, the Fort Lauderdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show has gone from mod­est to mas­sive.

Yachting - - CURRENTS - By Kelley San­ford

Year af­ter year, the docks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are lined with more than 1,000 boats for the city’s fall boat show. But they haven’t al­ways been. Like most suc­cess sto­ries, this one has been a jour­ney. ¶ In 1959, only 13 ex­hibitors as­sem­bled at Fort Lauderdale’s War Me­mo­rial Au­di­to­rium for the first show. But 17 years later, Kay Pear­son of Show Man­age­ment took over and im­ple­mented some mon­u­men­tal changes. The ex­hi­bi­tion was re­named the Fort Lauderdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show (FLIBS), shift- ed to the fall (when builders re­leased new-year mod­els) and moved to a new lo­ca­tion, the Bahia Mar Re­sort and Yacht­ing Cen­ter. That 1976 show hosted 103 ex­hibitors. ¶ FLIBS con­tin­ued to evolve and Yacht­ing, hav­ing at­tended the show since its early days, was there to see it. “I re­mem­ber, more than any­thing, the trans­for­ma­tion of the pre­sen­ta­tions,” says Terry Ja­come, long­time Yacht­ing sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive and FLIBS at­tendee. Ex­hibitor dis­plays were only ta­bles with cur­tains un­til FairPro­mo­tion formed in 1994 and be­gan to

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