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Exhibitor Response to New Miami Boat Show Venue Positive So Far

Walk the docks or tents at this Miami International Boat Show today and you’ll hear the same question that prevailed yesterday.

So what do you think of the show?

The question persists, of course, not simply because the event is in its second day of the new venue—but because Miami Marine Stadium and Park on Virginia Key will be the permanent site for the event.

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On the second day of the show at its new venue, exhibitors and attendees are taking in the sights and praising the proximity of on-land and in-water exhibits. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix (click image to enlarge).

“That’s what we were told at an exhibitors meeting the other night,” said John Cosker, the founder and owner of Mystic Powerboats, who’s displaying an M4200 luxury center console and an M4400 catamaran—both of which are for sale—at the docks. “But I like it here. I think it’s a great change. Once they get the logistics worked out on getting people in and out of the show, it will be great.”

“Have you been inside the tents?” he continued. “They’re gorgeous.”

Added Martin Sanborn, who’s helping Cosker and Greg Weber and Scott Sjogren of Shogren Performance Marine at the show this week, “And there’s room to grow. These docks could be expanded out almost to the mangroves if they needed more space.”

Standing in front of his show-stopping “The Cigarette Difference” exhibit this morning, Skip Braver, the owner and chief executive officer of the iconic sportboat and center console company, also said he was happy with the new venue. “It was a lot of work but we’re happy with the way everything turned out,” he said. “Everyone who came over from Mercedes-AMG from Germany, including the members of the press they brought with them, was impressed.”

While the final reviews are far from in, every exhibitor we spoke with echoed sentiments similar to those of Braver and Cosker. Attendees we spoke with also said they appreciated that they could walk from the tents to the in-water exhibits, which was not an option in years past with the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina venue combo. Exhibitors agreed.

“I think it’s a great change to be out in the open and have the water right there,” said Dean Reynolds of Checkmate Powerboats and Hustler Powerboats.

The most common attendee gripes concerned walking distances—from end to end the show stretches for roughly one mile— between exhibits and the excessive waits—90-plus minutes—for water and land taxis near the end of the first day of the show yesterday. Those who parked at various sites across the bay, however, and traveled to and from the show by shuttle reportedly fared better.

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