Boat shows facing new challenges

KANSAS CITY, Mo. & TACOMA, Wash. – Organizers of the Kansas City Boat and Sportshow say the event will be scaled back this year due to the economy, while the Northwest Marine Trade Association has suspended the 2009 Everett Boat Show, the Tacoma News-Tribune reported in a story today.

Organizers of the KC Boat Show said the number of vendors at their event is down about 30 percent because of slower boat and RV sales, Kansas City television station KMBC reported in a story on its Web site yesterday.

“The dealers that came to this show are a little more aggressive than the dealers that didn’t. It’s all about being where the customer is,” Larry Tague of Lake Viking Marina, based in Galliton, Mo., was quoted in the story as saying. “It has been kind of ugly, with the high price of gas and the political turmoil. All in all, there is a lot of product — it’s a buyer’s market.”

The Northwest Marine Trade Association suspended the 2009 Everett Boat Show, which would have been held the first weekend of March, after a survey showed that of the 23 exhibitors who have participated in previous shows, only four said they would have displays for the 2009 event, John Thorburn, communication and marketing director for the association, reported.

Thorburn told the Tacoma News-Tribune the association is considering holding a parking lot sale of boats this year, and then will discuss options for a full show in 2010.

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