Chicago show reports attendance boost

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Total attendance for the Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show increased 7 percent despite slower days Thursday and Friday because of bad weather, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

The NMMA said 35,402 people attended the event, which ran Jan. 12-16 at McCormick Place. The show switched its date pattern this year, moving from Wednesday-Sunday to Thursday-Monday to take advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday.

More than 500 boats were on display and more than 100 RVs were for sale. The NMMA said it is receiving reports from exhibitors that dozens of boats were sold at the show and heard good reports on the RV side as well.

“[We] talked to many people from not only all surrounding states, but as far away as Iowa. The buyer is back,” Duane Krueger, of Premier Pontoons, told the NMMA.

“We are excited to see the turnout that the Chicago Boat Show brought, and boat buyers are definitely shopping again,” added Betsy Arvai, of Skipper Buds. “Looking forward to the potential opportunities in the marketplace in 2012. We had a great selling show.”

The next shows up for the NMMA are the Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show, the Progressive Insurance Kansas City Boat & Sportshow and the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show, all of which start Thursday and run through Sunday.


3 comments on “Chicago show reports attendance boost

  1. Curtis

    It is great that so many boat shows are seeing increases, however is anybody buying. My guess is no. I just came out of a boat show and even though attendance was about the same as last year, boat sales seemed to be slow. I know of several dealers who sold only one boat or no boats. Hard to pay for space doing that.

  2. Joe

    Yeah, the quotes say it all: “Boat buyers are shopping again.” “potential opportunities”…. I also like “not only surrounding states but as far away as Iowa.” Um, buy a map.

  3. Bryan T

    My old dealer in Temple TX sold 11 boats from 20-60k (mostly fishing). That was a great show.

    Now the Chicago show was a busy one Sat, but sales were down for all premium brand boats. Of course Larsen, Bayliner and price point pontoons did very well.

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