According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, attendance at the 2010 Miami International Boat show was down slightly from the previous year. About 91,415 people attended one of the greatest Miami events, down 5.5 percent from last year and off nearly 10 percent from predictions.
Cathy Rick-Joule, vice president of the southern show division of National Marine Manufacturer's Association, said however that those who showed up were more prone to buy a boat than last year, which was good news for the struggling industry..
He also said that retailers of boating accessories, clothes and fishing gear were reporting sales increases of 20 to 30 percent. Also seeing increased interest this year was The Affordability Pavilion, a collection of 17 Miami boats that could be financed at a rate of less than $250 per month.
As many yachting companies have gone bankrupt in the past two years, The Yacht & Brokerage Show, another of Miami events
is, featured a scaled-back lineup of Miami boats as well.
CEO of Show Management, Skip Zimbalist, said snowstorms in the Northeast kept many potential buyers away during the show's first two days, when year-over-year attendance was down 15 percent and Miami Beach vacation rentals are booked solid. Toward the end of the show's five-day run, things improved but attendance was still down by 10 percent.
Zimbalist said, other categories fared better, and sales were up among Miami fishing boats and medium-size yachts.
There are still things to do in Miami
like South Florida's next major boat show in West Palm Beach, running from March 25 to 28.