MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – The 25th annual Michigan City In-Water Boat Show promises to be bigger than ever because of a $115,000 investment the Port Authority has made to improve the show’s electrical infrastructure, reported organizers in a recent statement.
Today's boats are bigger and require more power, just like the boat show itself. In 1980 – the year the show debuted – there were fewer than 200 boats on display, most under 35 feet in length. Today, the boat show features over 500 boats, several dozen of which are longer than 50 feet, according to organizers.
Though as the size and number of boats have grown, power capacity hasn't followed suit. Consequently, the show has outgrown the electrical infrastructure on Port Authority property.
According to Michigan City In-Water Boat Show manager Norm Schultz, it became clear last year that if the show wanted to hold onto its larger luxury boat dealers, something had to be done.
To remedy this problem, the boat show and the Michigan City Port Authority Board recently reached a mutually beneficial agreement through which the Port Authority agreed to contribute approximately $115,000 to improve electrical infrastructure to the show, while the boat show agreed to extend its contract with the Port for 10 years.
"This is a classic win-win," said Schultz. "In fact, the agreement has already yielded dividends. We signed a contract for a 94-foot boat, far and away our largest ever, to appear in 2004 only after we reached agreement with the Port. It's a deal that couldn't have happened otherwise, we just couldn't have powered this particular boat without evicting every other boat from its pier."
"From our perspective, the boat show enhances and magnifies what we do here in Michigan City. We are a unique city on the lake," Port Authority Board Chairman Sam Johns said, "and the show really adds to our uniqueness. We're excited to see the show continue to grow."