NMMA reports mixed boat show attendance

Chicago, Ill. – The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported that attendance at three of the most recent boat shows has been mixed.

According to the release, bad weather caused low attendance at the Louisville Sports, Boat, RV & Vacation Show and the Chesapeake Bay Boat Show, while attendance at Strictly Sail Chicago increased by five percent.

Officials were pleased with the attendance and perhaps more importantly, the attitude of those attending, at the Chicago Show, which ran from Jan. 29 through Feb. 1.

“This is probably our best Chicago show ever,” says Michael Thoney with Beneteau. “People are much more positive this year, and talk about buying a boat in the next six to twelve months. Last year they were much more reluctant.”

Meanwhile, the Louisville, Kent., area suffered through an ice storm the first weekend of the show, but NMMA reports that attendance grew to 41,737 people over the nine-day event. This marked a five-percent decline compared to the 2003 show. The Chesapeake show, on the other hand, saw attendance dip 10 percent to 20,616 attendees after snow storms hit the East Coast.

NMMA kicked off the St. Louis Boat & Sports Show yesterday and opens three more shows — the New Orleans Boat Show, Atlantic City International Power Boat Show and the association’s first-ever Vancouver International Boat Show — today.

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