After months of anticipation (and not a little controversy) the 75th annual Miami International Boat Show starts Thursday.
It hasn't been an easy road to Virginia Key, where the show is relocating to the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin from Miami Beach. From lawsuits to permit challenges to environmental concerns, the show had to overcome many roadblocks to get here.
NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in an earlier interview with Boating Industry that the new location will offer several benefits to attendees and exhibitors.
The No. 1 complaint about the show from consumers and exhibitors has always been traffic and parking. We are investing a lot of money in a very comprehensive traffic management and parking plan … to get people to and from the show.
We have over 4,000 parking spaces on Virginia Key adjacent to the show. We’ve got 10,000 more parking spaces in or near downtown Miami … and we’ll be offering free shuttle buses from each of those parking locations to the front door of the show as well as water taxis from the American Airlines Arena and Bayside and other locations directly to the front door of the show.
[Strictly Sail] has decided to stay at Bayside, but again we’ll be offering water taxi service between the two shows. It’s a 15-minute water taxi ride between the shows.
It is going to be a boat show on an island paradise. It is the most spectacular location for a boat show that you will find anywhere in the world, with everything all in one place.
Building a show from scratch like this is not an opportunity many show producers have, especially with a show this big. We’re going to be offering food service concessions that are nothing like you’ve ever seen at any boat show in terms of quality and variety. It’s going to be a boat show with a very sizable party atmosphere.
When you stand on the shoreline or out where the docks are going to be, the view of the downtown Miami skyline is spectacular. People are going to be in the boating mood when they are at this boat show. It is going to be a great selling environment.
If you're heading to Miami this week, or just interested in seeing what's new, here are a few things the Boating Industry team is going to be sure to check out:
- Brig Boats, a big player in both the Asian and European RIB market, is making its U.S. debut.
- Blue Gas Marine and Dusky Marine will be introducing a natural gas-powered boat.
- MasterCraft will be showing off its new outboard-powered NXT.
- MarineMax is introducing Galeon Yachts to the U.S. market.
- Ranger is celebrating the official debut of its 2350 Bay Ranger.
- Indmar is introducing jet and cruiser engine series.
- New products coming from Mercury, Volvo Penta, Chris-Craft and more.
There are also several very interesting products under embargo that we'll be able to report on Thursday after the show starts. Look for more coverage of the show from Miami later this week on BoatingIndustry.com.