Duncan McIntosh Co. adds to its boat show roster

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Boat show producer and marine magazine publisher Duncan McIntosh Co. bought the Fred Hall Shows, which cater to boating, fishing, hunting, and traveling clienteles with shows in two Southern California locations.

The American Sportfishing Association sold the shows to the newly formed corporation Fred Hall Shows Inc., which consists of Duncan McIntosh, Bart Hall and his son Travis Hall.

The nearly 70-year-old shows take place in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, company president McIntosh told Trade Only Today.

The boat section of the show is the fastest-growing segment, McIntosh said. His company owns the Newport Boat Show and the Lido Yacht Expo, which take place in Newport Beach, Calif., in the spring and fall.

“We have basically the biggest big-boat show in the West and the biggest in-water show in the West,” McIntosh told Trade Only. “Anything over 30 feet, we kind of are that segment. So this is going to give us the 30-and-under market. I’m a longtime boater, and I like to fish. These shows are so much broader than that when you get into the different elements. There’s the travel part of it, you’ve got the hunting part — it’s an outdoor show, but it just happens to be big in the boat category. That’s where we come in.”

With 700 booths and more than 400 seminars, the show is well known among locals. McIntosh said that perhaps the next challenge will be to extend the brand awareness geographically.

“This is our hometown,” McIntosh said of Long Beach. “We know those people and those shows very well. To me, it was a natural place for us to be. There’s a high connection of boating in it, and fishing is often associated with offshore boats. This covers fresh and salt, which is interesting because you don’t often see that. I just like the job they do and the presence they have in the market.”

McIntosh plans to keep the whole group together, which perhaps made him attractive as a bidder. He didn’t say how much he paid for the shows, but said he thinks it was “quite reasonable.”

“This means a great deal to me," Bart Hall told the McIntosh publication The Log. “Having the Hall family again involved in an ownership position in the Fred Hall Shows means that we can begin to provide a foundation for the next 70 years of these world-class events.”

For 68 years the annual Fred Hall Fishing Tackle & Boat Shows have been a season-opening tradition for active Southern California outdoor enthusiasts, highlighting the latest sportfishing gear, tackle, fishing boats, marine accessories, camping gear and diving, shooting and hunting products, along with hundreds of resorts, landings, lodges and outfitters that are ready to book outdoor adventures, according to The Log.

The shows — held in Long Beach and Del Mar — are two of the largest consumer fishing shows in the United States.

The 2015 dates are March 4-8 for the Long Beach show and March 25-29 for the Del Mar event.

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