Newport International Boat Show changes ownership

The Newport Restaurant Group (NRG) owner and producer of the annual Newport International Boat Show (NIBS) announced today that the show was acquired by South Florida Ventures to expand and deliver enhanced value to participating marine industry businesses and a seamless and unparalleled experience for attendees.

With a rich 53-year heritage deeply rooted in the Newport community, the Newport International Boat Show occupies over thirteen acres of historic downtown Newport, Rhode Island. Under the stewardship of Paul O’Reilly and his dedicated team, NIBS stands as one of the nation’s premier boat shows and the foremost event of its kind in the Northeast. Boasting a lineup of over 600 exhibitors and the largest in-water display in New England, the show showcases an impressive array of power and sailboats, marine accessories, products, and services.

South Florida Ventures has seen rapid expansion over the past five years, acquiring and launching specialized businesses and brands catering to the luxury lifestyle sector, including most recently the esteemed Miami International Boat Show. With successful ventures like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Palm Beach International Boat Show, the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show, and the Suncoast Boat Show under their belt, the team is well-positioned to propel the Newport International Boat Show to new heights. The partnership between these two entities has been forged through extensive deliberations, focusing on strategies to elevate industry standards and cultivate an unparalleled boat show experience.

Andrew Doole, President of US Boat Shows, South Florida Ventures, expressed excitement about the union, stating, “We are delighted to welcome NIBS into the South Florida Ventures family. NIBS is a standout show, reflecting the vibrancy of the boating community in the Northeast. This partnership signifies a true collaboration, driven by a shared dedication to customer satisfaction, community, and a mutual interest in the future growth of NIBS and its brand.”

Lisa Knowles, Show Director for NIBS, remarked, “South Florida Ventures is the ideal partner to lead the Newport International Boat Show into its next evolution. This collaboration ensures that NIBS will maintain its renowned quality while gaining access to innovation, insights, and cutting-edge technologies, enriching the experience for exhibitors and attendees alike. We eagerly anticipate welcoming everyone to an even more remarkable 2024 show in September!”

“For over 50 years, the Newport International Boat Show has been the pinnacle of boat shows in the Northeast. While it is bittersweet to bid farewell to NIBS, I am assured that it is in the most capable hands with the NIBS leadership team and South Florida Ventures at the helm,” Paul O’Reilly, CEO of Newport Restaurant Group, stated. “With the maritime sector experiencing a surge in demand post-pandemic, this marks the perfect time for the next chapter in the illustrious journey of the Newport International Boat Show. I am certain that Lisa and Andrew will maintain its great integrity and esteemed reputation for years to come.”

The Newport International Boat Show will be the first Northeast addition for South Florida Ventures’ boating portfolio. The NIBS event will take place September 12-15 in the historic waterfront of downtown Newport, Rhode Island. Exhibitor and Sponsor space contracts are actively being accepted as of January 15, 2024, and tickets will go on sale to the public June 1st, 2024. Visit for the latest information and registration details.

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