With a January 15 sign-up deadline, waterfront exhibit space for the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run—February 15-18—at Gilbert’s Resort in Key Largo is nearing capacity. Florida Powerboat Club president Stu Jones, who announced that the annual event would include a high-performance powerboat and products show of its own this year, said he is pleased with the pace of exhibitor commitments since unveiling his plan in late December.
With its own exhibits this year, the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run will live up to its name like never before. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“Most of the major manufacturers are in,” he said. “There are a couple of companies I don’t know about yet but Nor-Tech, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is going to have a major presence. MTI has a strong position—they’ll have a big display that includes its 57-foot center console. Midnight Express will have two new center consoles. Mystic Powerboats is bringing its 42-foot center console and 40-foot cat. Concept will have two 4400s there. Performance Boat Center will be involved with something—they don’t have a lot of inventory right now, which is a good problem to have, right?
“It’s filling up fast,” he continued. “I sent out invitations to all of our loyal sponsors to display with a cut-off date of January 15. Once we reach that date, I’ll take inventory, see where we are and reach out to other boat companies if we have space.”
On the product display side, which will be set up behind the waterfront restaurant, Jones said he has commitments from CMI, Livorsi Marine, Seakeeper and more. He’s also still working with Mercury Racing to bring their mobile marketing vehicle to the event.
Between 25 and 30 club members have registered for the run so far, Jones said.
Thanks to the proximity of Gilbert’s to Blackwater Sound, demo rides will be easy for exhibitors and participants.
“That’s about on par with where we usually are at the time of year with this event,” he said. “Maybe this is ambitious, but since we have finally figured out how to get enough dockage for this event, which has always been a challenge, I think we could handle 70 to 75 poker-run teams. That may be ambitious this year, but I’m optimistic.”