Savvy enough to recognize opportunity when it knocks, Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones launched a boat show of his own when the 2021 Miami International Boat Show was cancelled and is bringing it back this year—albeit it in a smaller format—as part of the club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run. But the display for the February 23-25 event mostly will be in the marina at the Post Card Inn in Islamorada, the host venue/destination for the trek to the Upper Florida Keys, rather than its original Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar location.
The annual Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run happens the weekend after the Miami International Boat Show closes. Photos from the 2022 Miami Boat Show Poker Run by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
For the past two years, Miami Boat Show Poker Run participants had to return to the Gilbert’s lunch shop to enjoy the display. This year, that option will be right outside their rooms.
“Technically, I’m not calling it a boat show—it’s a ‘manufacturers showcase’ packaged into the Miami Boat Show Poker Run,” Jones explained. “I have about 15 display slips and about 250 feet of roadside display area for boats on trailers. It’s a nice format for the showcase, but as always we like to keep things casual and only allow displays for companies directly related with the club.
“The inside marina basin is prime docking and that will be given to the series sponsors, manufacturers and dealers that make big commitments to the club every year, and we want it to be a ‘show-like’ format,” he continued. “That said, there will be some remaining slips allocated to Florida Powerboat Club members who have either registered early or have a premium level of membership with the club.”
The event will still have enough dockage for 90 to 100 boats, Jones emphasized, including the 500-foot long seawall where boats will be rafted up as well as off-site locations. Those include the Islamorada Yacht Club at Snake Creek and Plantation Boat Mart in Tavernier. Together, they offer a combined docking overflow of up to 50 boats, while the Post Card Inn can handle up to 60 boats.
Though this year’s powerboat display will be at the Post Card Inn host hotel, the run will still stop at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar in Key Largo for lunch.
“We switched to Postcard Inn because the new ownership group there invited us to come back in February,” Jones said. “Over the last several years, there was a different ownership group that was not very event friendly. But this event has historically done very well at Postcard Inn and it is still a good venue. The size of the marina is not massive, but the number of rooms that are available on site makes it kind of ideal for any poker run.
“We have a great dockage-overflow situation, and that also makes it perfect for a poker run,” he added. “All of that is why we went back—and are going back again—to the Post Card Inn. It has a promising future for this annual event.”
So far, 50 club members have registered for the event. Jones said he is expecting 75 to 80 poker run teams to participate.
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