Atlantic City show reports attendance gain

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Attendance for the five-day Progressive Insurance Atlantic City (N.J.) Boat Show was up 4 percent from 2011, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produces the show.

The NMMA said 36,198 attended this year’s event, compared with 34,760 in 201.

The show, which expanded 30 percent this year and into another hall at the Atlantic City Boat Show, drew quality crowds, with exhibitors reporting stronger sales and solid leads.

“My customers that have been coming here for years have been saying that this year was an exceptional presentation. I’ve sold outboards for years, but being a first-year boat dealer, there was a lot of anxiety. After dealing with show staff and experiencing the show itself, it’s been a pleasurable step for our business,” Kate Toogood, of Cape Harbor Marine Service, said in a statement.

Doug Nettles, representing Boston Whaler, added, “We’re having a great show. We were ahead of last year’s results by Friday.”

“The show’s been great. Even Wednesday was a strong day for us, and it looks great with the additional hall open. The marketplace looks great, too,” said Tom Gillikin of Florida Bow Thrusters.

Next up for the NMMA are the Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow, which begins Wednesday, and the Progressive Insurance New England Boat Show, which opens Saturday.

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