LIVONIA, Mich. – In our rebounding economy, the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center February 15-23, has doubled in size in just two years. In 2014, the show has two larger halls and, at 300,000 square feet of exhibition space, is again officially sold out. “It is great to be in this position as we know we will be offering a great display of boats, motors and accessories to those who attend the Detroit Boat Show,” said Show Manager Nicki Polan. “Space sales are up more than 15% and the number of boats on the floor will also be up from last year.” In order to accommodate any last minute requests, the show is taking space from promotion areas and food service areas.
The show is also promoting an increased number of new model introductions. Show goers will see hundreds of boats on display along with many exciting new model introductions with state-of-the-art designs and technologies from brands like Chaparral, Intrepid, EdgeWater, Robalo, Nautique Ski Boats, Key West Fishing boats and more.
With more boats and exciting new models on display, sales are also expected to be up for the Detroit Boat Show. Michigan buyers have a great incentive to buy a new boat with the recent passage of sales tax on the difference in Michigan. This law took immediate effect for boats in November of 2013 for the full value– no phase-in. With the new law, buyers who trade-in and purchase a new vessel with a dealer will only pay sales tax on the difference between the full trade-in value and the new purchase price.
MBIA’s 235,000 square foot Spring Boating Expo, held March 13-16, 2014 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., is also sold out of exhibit space except for a few 10x10 booth spaces.
Michigan is the third largest marine market in the country with more than $450 million in sales of boats, motors, trailers and accessories in 2012. Michigan’s recovery has outpaced the rest of the country for the past two years. In 2011 Michigan’s marine sales increased 20% while the rest of the country grew 5%. In 2012, Michigan’s total marine retail sales saw a 42% increase from the year prior while the national increase was 10 percent. “Solid gains have been made in the industry for the past three years and 2014 should maintain that same trend. We estimate unit boat sales growth will perform at approximately 6% for the year and anticipate a slightly improved performance in 2014,” said Jim Coburn, of Coburn & Associates and Michigan Boating Industries Association Chairman.
Michigan also ranks third in total boat registrations nationally with nearly one million registered boats on file and an estimated four million boaters. “We estimate there are 300,000 legally unregistered boats in this state and if they were counted Michigan may likely be number one for registered boats,” said Polan.
Across the country, boating participation is up. “We are so pleased the boating market in Michigan is rebounding the way it is,” said Polan. “We know boating is important to the people in this state and they are again ready to invest in quality recreation and embrace the boating lifestyle. As the economy continues to improve, we are pleased to be seeing new boaters coming into the market, returning boaters, and others move forward with new boat purchases that had been delayed.”
The Michigan economy will soon see another boost as autoworkers are likely to see record profit sharing this year as reported by CNN Money. The boating industry typically follows the auto rebound, and 2013 was the best since 2007 for autos.
Discount tickets and hotel accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Detroit are available at www.detroitboatshow.net. HOURS: Saturdays and Monday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots. The Detroit Boat Show is owned and produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA), the voice of boating in Michigan. Revenue generated from this event is returned back to fund boater’s interests via MBIA’s programs and services.
For more information, visit www.detroitboatshow.net, or call 1.800.932.2628.