More turmoil ahead, but also opportunity: IMBC speaker

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Times are tough and will likely get tougher, but they also present great opportunities for marina owners, operators and investors, the chairman of a luxury marina developer said today at the eighth annual International Marina & Boatyard Conference in Tampa, Fla.

“We need to use this time to get better at what we do while spending less money,” Andrew Farkas, chairman of Island Global Yachting and founder of Island Capital Group told an audience of about 400 in his keynote speech. “We came from a time of unprecedented growth. We are in for more turmoil, but it will stabilize.”

The conference got under way Wednesday with a record number of exhibitors, said Rachel LaMarre, conference coordinator. There are 145 exhibitors and 127 companies represented, she said.

Attendance is also up this year, with about 700 attendees expected to take part in the three-day event, which runs through Friday.

“In these challenging times people value networking and talking to their peers about how they’re handling things,” LaMarre said.

The show features dozens of educational seminars, roundtable discussions and panel events, and a look at the state of the economy from the perspective of former Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, Tony Villamil.

IMBC is produced by the Association of Marina Industries.

- Chris Landry

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