The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show attracted more than 100,000 attendees from more than 52 countries, according to organizers. The five-day event, which celebrated its 60 anniversary this year, had more than 1,000 exhibitors and 1,300 boats.
“We received a tremendous response from exhibitors with regard to the quality of buyers at this year’s show,” said Andrew Doole, president of U.S. Boat Shows at Informa Markets in a statement.
“This year's FLIBS was the best boat show Denison has ever participated in. We met more people than ever, and closed more new boats than ever,” said Bob Denison, president and founder of Denison Yachting in the statement. “I think it was the hottest boat show I've ever experienced, but people still came out anyway. We had brokers fly in from all of our offices, as far away as California, to meet clients and write deals all week.”
George Jousma, president of Italian Yacht Group in Fort Lauderdale, called FLIBS “a trendsetter” for what the 2020 boat show season will be like. “Traffic-wise, we were on par with last year,” he said in the statement. “I was happy with the attendance and the quality of the people that attended. We sold three yachts totaling over $15 million and are working to close a couple more deals that came from the show.”
FLIBS held an inaugural ceremony at its new Superyacht Village, a destination for superyachts at Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina’s new “Pier South” property. The new venue included the debut of Lürssen’s 311-foot Madsummer, and Heesen Yachts’ 180-foot Vida as well as eight other superyachts.
“The new Superyacht Village was a breath of fresh air for Benetti,” said Nick Bischoff, country manager, Benetti Americas in the statement. “We don’t usually write contracts at shows, but we do further cement our relationships with existing clients and prospects. We are confident that the show will result in sales over the coming months, both by Benetti Americas, and our Class Dealer, MarineMax.”
Dubai-based superyacht builder Majesty Yachts USA, a first-time exhibitor at FLIBS, sold both of its new yachts on display at the show. Its Majesty 140, named “Best in Show,” sold for about $20 million.
“Our manufacturers were spot on with the freshest collection of inventory we have ever seen, and new model debuts across several lines,” said Chuck Cashman, chief revenue officer at MarineMax. “Buyers responded well to the vast selection of new and innovative models. The warm Florida temperatures didn't seem to influence the attitudes of those in attendance.”
FLIBS and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show, supported Bahamas hurricane relief efforts in the Abacos and Grand Bahama. The initiatives included a boat raffle of a Pioneer Sportfish 180 donated by Palm City Yachts, as wellas proceeds from the show’s signature Sunset Soireé and 2nd Annual Yacht Chef Competition. More than $30,000 was raised to benefit Bahamas relief missions, Mission of Hope and ONE Bahamas Fund.
“As a close neighbor of the Bahamas, we felt we had a duty to help coordinate the industry’s response to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts at FLIBS so that we could raise both awareness and substantive funding for the ongoing needs of the Abacos and Grand Bahama while they continue in the recovery process,” said MIASF CEO/president, Phil Purcell, in the statement.