Upbeat mood in the air at FLIBS

FORT LAUDERDALE – As expected, traffic appears to be down at the rescheduled Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but the mood at the 46th annual show is upbeat.

Attendance isn’t worse than expected, and “some of the booths are bustling with activity,” according to Glen Sandridge, vice president of marketing for boat dealership chain MarineMax.

“People are there, ready to sell boats,” he explained. “They have not cut back their efforts.”

Only 61 of the 1,400 companies that had registered to exhibit at this year’s event didn’t show, despite the new dates, Nov. 3-6, reported the Palm Beach Post. The show was originally scheduled to take place Oct. 27-31 and be spread over six sites. However, it was postponed a week when Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida harder than expected.

While only about a fourth of the county’s traffic lights were working and power outages were still widespread as the show opened, the serious buyers were in attendance.

“I don’t need power. I need a boat,” one attendee, still without power at home, told the Palm Beach Post. “When you’re hooked on something like boating, it doesn’t matter.”

“Everyone there seems well qualified, and the weekend is still coming,” summed up Sandridge.

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