Lake Union show attendance up 24 percent

SEATTLE – The 2006 Lake Union Boats Afloat Show attracted a record 11,214 visitors during its five-day run, Sept. 13 – 17, marking a 24-percent increase over last year’s levels and a 97 percent increase since 2004, organizers reported in a recent statement.

In 2004, 5,700 visitors attended the Boats Afloat Show, while 9,043 boating enthusiast walked the Chandler’s Cove docks on South Lake Union in 2005.

“Record attendance during each day of the Boats Afloat Show and feedback from our exhibitors indicates that the recreational boating industry in the Northwest continues to be strong,” said Jonathan Ives, executive director of the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association (NYBA), which puts on the annual floating show. “Increasing the number of larger yachts and affordable boats along with introducing important programs such as children’s water safety education helped our members connect with an important cross-section of the boating community.”

The 2006 Lake Union Boats Afloat show included some 350 boats ranging in size from affordable, trailerable boats under 20 feet to eight luxury yachts over 80 feet and a 130 foot megayacht. In 2006, the floating show featured an additional 47 percent boats under 30 feet and shore-side exhibits grew by 60 percent from the previous year.

Among other factors contributing to increased attendance was a shift by the Northwest Yacht Brokers to a brand advertising strategy focusing on the boating lifestyle, inclusion of television advertising, an e-ticket strategy that included free South Lake Union parking along with a number of first-time programs for the entire family.

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