Attendance off at four of five shows last weekend

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More than 150,000 people attended National Marine Manufacturers Association shows last weekend, and organizers say all reported positive sales despite uncooperative weather in some regions.

Shows in New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Louisville, Ky., had dips in attendance; Minneapolis saw gains.

The Progressive Louisville Boat, RV and Sportshow closed its five-day run with overall attendance of 41,181, down 1 percent compared to 2018, when 41,431 attended the event. Attendance was up 9.2 percent from the three-year average of 37,927. Overall exhibitor sentiment was positive, with many reporting a strong start to the show and continued sales through the weekend, according to NMMA.

Attendance at the Progressive Minneapolis Boat Show increased 11 percent to 38,258, up 11 percent from 2018 and up 9.9 percent from the three-year average of 34,815. The sold-out event featured the second year of the Minneapolis Boat Show Innovation Awards. The show also hosted about 40 students for the third annual Boating Career Day, highlighting career opportunities locally and across the industry.

There was a 2 percent decline in attendance at the Progressive New York Boat Show, which had a total of 41,582 attendees. Career Day, on Jan. 23, drew more than 100 students, and New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul opened the show with statements and a ribbon cutting.

The Progressive Baltimore Boat Show reported 14,104 visitors, down 5 percent from 2018’s 14,878 but up 2.3 percent over the three-year average of 13,786. The show also hosted a Boating Career Day with the Marine Trades Association of Maryland, drawing more than 40 students from local schools.

The Progressive Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo drew 16,747 attendees, down 16 percent from 2018’s attendance of 20,055 due to snowfall and frigid temperatures.