MRAA Convention gaining momentum

LAS VEGAS – While the Marine Retailers Association of America’s annual convention didn’t hit 1,000 participants this year, it more than doubled the attendance of the 2003 event.

Though final attendance numbers have yet to be released, over 400 lunches were served during the first day of the convention, according to Phil Keeter, MRAA president.

During last year’s event, Genmar Chairman Irwin Jacobs was critical of the lack of dealers in attendance. This may have been part of what prompted attendees to be more aggressive in helping to grow the event, Keeter suggested in an interview yesterday.

“Dealers were much more actively involved this year,” he explained. “Upgrading the speakers made an immense difference.”

Several dealers in attendance commented on the value of this year’s program. They also appeared greatly encouraged by the attendance growth and motivated to help drive further increases in the future.

“All indications are that we will more than double attendance again next year,” Keeter concluded.

– Liz Walz

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