Fort Lauderdale show has sizable impact on South Florida economy

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is big business for local companies.

That’s according to an article in the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, which says that because the show has a $500 million economic impact in South Florida businesses have been busily prepping for the event, which attracts about 100,000 people annually.

Among them are marine businesses that are exhibiting at the show, as well as companies that provide key services to exhibitors, and show organizers, such as event planners, transportation companies and florists.

"We've grown with the boat show over the years," Elite Tent Co. owner Jason Wells told the paper. The Hollywood, Fla., company is providing more than 100 tents for the show this year, many for in-water barges.

Elite also provides tents for Show Management-produced boat shows in Miami, West Palm Beach and Sarasota, Wells said. Combined, the boat shows account for 15 percent to 20 percent of Elite's annual business, which Wells called "sizable."

Show Management, the show’s producer, also gets tents from Regency Party Rentals in West Palm Beach and Diamonette Party Rentals in Doral.

"We use their entire inventory," Show Management senior vice president and chief operating officer Dane Graziano told the paper. "It's the largest event they do annually."

For Miami-based Dockside Corporate Services, the boat show represents about 80 percent to 85 percent of the year's business, said Doreen Ernst, vice president for operations.

Dockside recruits, trains and manages all of the guest service greeters for the Fort Lauderdale show. This year, the company is working on four boat show projects for Show Management and one for the U.S. Superyacht Association, Ernst said.

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