Suncoast Boat Show reports attendance, exhibitor growth

The 33rd annual Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota wrapped up last weekend with gains in attendance and in all categories of boats on display, organizers reported.

Show attendance over the three days was up 12 percent compared to 2014, while exhibitor participation increased 7 percent. The number of new boats on display increased 15 percent, while the number of  brokerage boats was up 37 percent.

“This year’s show was the biggest and best it has ever been on many levels. All the feedback we’ve received tells us that the consumer is back.” said Brett Keating, vice president of marketing for Show Management.

“We noted an extremely positive vibe on the docks and are very pleased with the outcome of this year’s show and its growth in terms of products offered and both dealer and consumer attendance,” said Darren Plymale, vice president of Galati Yacht Sales. “Expanding to a 22-boat display this year gave us an opportunity to show our breadth, combining our new and brokerage product offerings, and as a result we have many showings and sea trials scheduled, as well as a few contracts that were a direct result of the event.”

Beyond the impressive display of boats, other attractions included on-the-water boat handling seminars by Discover Boating that were well attended throughout the weekend. Friday evening’s Yacht Hop sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Sarasota Yacht & Ship, Galati Yacht Sales, Tom George Yacht Group, Denison Yacht Sales, MarineMax and Viage Group drew several hundred guests.

“The Suncoast show picked up where the Palm Beach boat show ended, proving that boat show buyers have returned,” said Gary C. Smith, senior partner with Sarasota Yacht & Ship. “The market has been brisk for new and used yachts. We wrote several deals during each of these shows and expect to close additional sales during post-show follow-up.”

The Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota is owned and produced by Show Management.

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