FLIBS attendance up

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – When all the numbers are tallied, this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will reveal itself as the most successful and profitable one to date – for the marine industry, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Show Management, said Andrew Doole, vice president of Show Management, in a phone interview yesterday afternoon.

In the meantime, preliminary numbers suggest attendance the first two days of the show, which ran Oct. 26-30, was up 8 to 10 percent, compared to the 2004 event, said Doole. With the impact from Hurricane Wilma, last year’s event isn’t an appropriate comparison.

Among the reasons he cited for the increase were pent-up enthusiasm after last year’s hurricane season, a lowering of energy costs and a stronger stock market.

Exhibit space was also up this year – a 5-percent increase from 2004 – and the event had a presenting sponsor for the first time, Ginn Sur Mer, which will be back next year as well.

When asked whether the show was any different under its new owner, Doole said, “I doubt most people noticed a perceptible change.” Almost all of the employees remained after the sale of Yachting Promotions to California-based Active Interest Media, Inc. earlier this year, he explained.

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