Show organizers of the 35th Annual Suncoast Boat Show, which took place at Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota from April 21 to 23, reported an increase in attendance of 16.5 percent over the 2016 show and the largest exhibit of boats in a decade, with 11 percent growth in the number of boats on display in-water and on land. The largest increase was in new boats 30 feet and larger.
"We sold the highest number of units and reached the highest revenue ever," said Jason LeFevre, general manager of MarineMax. "The show was great. Everything ran smoothly, traffic was up and we hope to make our display even bigger next year."
With 125 exhibitors, the show featured a selection of boats ranging from motor yachts and fishing boats to cruisers, runabouts and personal watercraft. A full range of marine electronics and products, as well as paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and other on-the-water toys, presented all aspects of the boating lifestyle.
"We saw existing customers who were looking to upgrade and also got great sales from many first-time buyers who came to the show," said Alex Kramer, operations manager with Galati Yacht Sales. "We were able to write a few deals and left the show with momentum."
"Overall, the show was very busy for us," said Joe Hackelberg, operations manager with Marlow Yachts, a first-time exhibitor. "The exposure was certainly good and I would venture to say that we will have a presence in the show next year."
New this year, Hook The Future Kids' Fishing Clinics drew crowds of young anglers throughout the weekend.
"The Sarasota market continues to grow and fuel the growth of this show," said Brett Keating, vice president of marketing for Show Management, the company that owns and produces the show. "This is a fabulous city for a boat show and many exhibitors expanded their space and range of products on display this year.
"We'd like to thank everyone who contributed to the show's success in so many different ways,” she added.
The 2017 Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota is presented, managed and produced by Show Management and sponsored by Audi Sarasota, Budweiser, Goslings and Sarasota Magazine. Bluewater Gear was a sponsor of the Hook the Future Kids' Fishing Clinics.
Show Management also produces the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Yachts Miami Beach, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, and the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show. For more information, visit ShowManagement.com.