MRA Conference see increase in attendees, exhibitors

LAS VEGAS — The Marina Recreation Association recently reported an upsurge in attendees and exhibitors at its 39th Annual Marina Recreation Association Educational Conference and Trade Show.

The conference was held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from Nov. 2-4. Conference organizers said attendance and the level of enthusiasm at the event point to growth and renewed strength in the marina and boating industries in the western states that the association serves. 

“This conference exceeded expectations in every way,” MRA President Jim Hayes said in a release. “The number of vendors who exhibited was up 22 percent from last year; the largest trade show we’ve had in our history.”  
The event awards banquet honored Bruce Abraham of Topper Industries.  Abraham, who has participated in fifteen MRA conferences, won the Duane Higbee Award for the outstanding trade member. Retiring board member Dave Smith was awarded the Darrell McConnell Award for his more than 30 years of service on the Board of Directors. 
“We had many enthusiastic comments from attendees and exhibitors about this year’s conference,” Yvonne Cantrell, a member of the MRA Board of Directors, said in the release. “They liked everything about it, the program, the keynote speaker, the many exhibitors, and the conference center at the Rio. I thought the energy and positive vibe of this conference was the best I’ve seen, and I’ve been to over twenty of them.  The hotel facilities, food and the staff were tremendous. Many of the attendees commented about the convenience of meeting in Las Vegas. All indications are we will return next year.”

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