Miami attendance up 7 percent in second year at new location

In its second year at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, attendance for the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show increased 7 percent from 2016, show organizers said Monday.

Attendance for the show, held over the Presidents Day weekend, reached nearly 100,000 attendees, from an estimated 30-35 countries around the globe.

Exhibitors and consumers share their thoughts in this short video recapping the 2017 Miami International Boat Show.

“With learnings from our inaugural event at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin last year, the 2017 edition of the Miami International Boat Show was a resounding success for exhibitors, attendees, and the local tourism industry. For this year’s show, we invested in new amenities, transportation options and exhibit space, and our approximately 100,000 guests embraced those upgrades just as we’d hoped they would,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the organizers of the show. “Our guests and our exhibitors continue to be thrilled with this waterfront venue, and we are, too – it’s clearly a natural fit to host the Miami International Boat Show and we’re already looking forward to welcoming guests back to the Marine Stadium site in 2018.”

With an estimated $3 billion in product on display this year, exhibitors experienced “brisk sales” in boats, accessories and more, NMMA said. Initial data indicate the 2017 Boat Show will meet or exceed its nearly $600 million economic impact and again directly support more than 6,500 full-time jobs.

“This year’s show was a big success for us, bringing out a lot of attendees who were ready to buy. We sold more boats this year than previous years and are already excited about 2018,” noted Patrick Turner from Catalina Yachts, based in Largo, Florida.

2017 show upgrades began with transportation to and from the event site at Virginia Key. The number of water taxis increased by more than 47 percent over 2016 and higher-capacity vessels were used. At the same time, the number of water taxi pick-up and drop-off locations was streamlined from seven to four to further meet the high demand for water transportation. The shuttle bus operation was streamlined, as well, from six to five locations, boosting the frequency of trips at all five pick-up locations.

The net result was fewer boat show-related car trips on the Rickenbacker Causeway that connects Virginia Key with the mainland. Overall, Miamians again embraced the boat show’s park & ride model in 2017. The show counted nearly 90,000 water taxi and shuttle bus riders by attendees who went to or from the show from designated offsite locations.

Upon arriving at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, boat show attendees experienced several more upgrades:

  • An expanded in-water boat display, with 550 boats and yachts located in the show’s 100 percent temporary, eco-friendly marina in the Marine Stadium Basin
  • An on-water VIP lounge aboard a 111-foot luxury yacht with an exclusive sky deck overlooking the show’s marina and Miami’s skyline
  • A completely revamped dining experience by Great Performances, which operates concessions programs at world-class events such as the Miami Open, and featured local favorites, such as The Knife Steakhouse, Latin Café and Sushi Maki
 “We learned important lessons as it relates to transportation during last year’s show, and the resulting adjustments we made for the 2017 event not only made it easier for our guests to get to and from the show, but ensured we again kept traffic flowing smoothly on Virginia Key,” said Ben Wold, manager of the Miami International Boat Show. “The vast majority of show-goers took advantage of our upgraded park & ride system, and we’re particularly pleased with how well the water taxi system worked this year. At a time when Miami-Dade County is looking for mass transit solutions, the Boat Show is setting a great example for what can be done.”

The 2018 Miami International Boat Show will be held at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, February 15-19, 2018.

“As we’ve done for 76 years, we’re constantly tweaking elements of the show to ensure we provide a world-class experience for our guests and exhibitors, as well as the community,” noted Wold. “We’re already making plans for things like improved lighting and air conditioning in the tents, ongoing enhancements to the transportation plan, and working with exhibitors to create even more exciting displays.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *