Detroit show reports attendance boost

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The 54th Annual Detroit Boat Show, which ran Feb. 11-19 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, saw a 1.2 percent increase in attendance and a strong uptick in boat sales from 2011, organizers said.

A reported 62,970 people attended the event, which is produced by the Michigan Boating Industry’s Association.

“We had a number of exhibitors who had their best show in over four years,” show manager John Ropp said in a statement. “All commented that the right people were attending the show and that interest and sales were strong. Positive news about the auto industry, declining unemployment numbers and improving home values are building consumer confidence, which is driving boat sales.”

The show’s space sales were up 25 percent from 2011, and Detroit Boat Show management will look to key exhibitors to determine whether there is a need to expand to two halls in 2013.

“If things keep moving in the right direction and with a little help, we will be positioned to take on another hall at Cobo Center next year — providing an exceptional show experience for attendees,” Ropp added.