Chesapeake Bay show reports attendance boost

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The Bay Bridge Boat Show said preliminary reports indicate that the three-day show, which ended Sunday, attracted 24.9 percent more paid customers this year than it did in 2013.

Organizers said an improving market, an increased promotional effort and perfect weather combined to make the event very successful.

"These results are better than anticipated and point to a meaningful recovery in the boat market and a change in attitude from looking to buying,” Annapolis Boat Shows president Paul Jacobs said in a statement. "The outstanding success of the Bay Bridge Boat Show bodes well for the upcoming Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show on April 25-27, 2014."

Bay Bridge show exhibitors expressed satisfaction with boat sales, quality leads and serious customers, organizers said. The show was held in Stevensville, Md.

"This has been a terrific show. We have quality leads and have sold several boats," Annapolis Yacht Sales general manager Gregg Cohen said.

"This is a great show. We are selling some boats and meeting with return customers. In this economy it often takes longer to make the sale," said Brian Schneider of Tradewinds Marina.

"Tremendous show. The foot traffic is terrific," said first-time exhibitor Jen Pratt of Annapolis Watersports.

"As a new owner, I am impressed by the show. I have had a great show and sold a bunch of boats," Annapolis Inflatables owner Dave Weaver said.

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