The first Miami International Boat Show at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin drew 100,279 attendees, up by 4 percent over the 2015 show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported Thursday.
Exhibitors reported strong sales, with many reporting increases from 20 to 400 percent, NMMA said.
“The Miami International Boat Show was a resounding success for exhibitors, attendees, and South Florida. Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin proved to be the ideal location for the best boat show we have hosted to date,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “Whether it was the gorgeous weather, exhibitors reporting significant sales, attendees enjoying the new on-water features, or the more than 100,000 people from around the world who brought tourism dollars to Miami-Dade—this year’s show was the start of what we hope will be a long, successful run at Marine Stadium Park and Basin.”
Show organizers also said that the show’s transportation plankept traffic issues to a minimum. The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation reports an average of 4,000 additional cars on the Rickenbacker Causeway each day of the event as compared to the same period in 2015 and in line with the 4,000 pre-paid Boat Show parking spaces on Virginia Key. An estimated 80 percent of boat show attendees parking at designated offsite locations and arrived via shuttle bus or water taxi. While long waits were reported for water taxis and shuttle buses, improvements were made each day to keep them flowing more smoothly, NMMA said.
Traffic data collected by Miami-Dade County showed that except for opening day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, the average travel time from South Bayshore Drive and South 26th Road to MAST Academy was 7 to 10 minutes, just slightly longer than the normal six minutes and fifty seconds. Only for the three-hour period at the show open on Thursday did travel time average 21 minutes, which was reduced to 7-10 minutes after signage adjustments were made.
“Because this was our inaugural event at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, we kept a close watch on delays and issues as they arose, and made adjustments each day of the Show—
adding more shuttle buses and reallocating water taxis to improve transportation daily,” said Cathy Rick-Joule, director of the Miami International Boat Show. “Using the lessons learned this first year, we know what we need to do to improve the consumer experience for years to come.”
The 2017 Miami International Boat Show will be held at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, February 16-20, 2017.