Celebrating its 50th year of producing the Hartford Boat Show and its new location at Mohegan Sun Casino, the Connecticut Marine Trades Association saw overall attendance rise 10 percent at this year’s event, held Jan. 17-20. The CMTA branded the show as “HBS50.”
“The combination of our earlier dates leading the boat show season, our new location, the 50th anniversary and last year’s reduction in state sales tax on boats, motors and trailers all really combined to make HBS50 an outstanding experience for both exhibitors and visitors,” said CMTA executive director Kathleen Burns in a statement.
Though a winter storm slowed attendance on Sunday, Jan. 20, opening-day crowds were up 70 percent over the year prior, organizers said.
The CMTA also held a Golden Celebration to honor of the show’s anniversary. David Crocker of Crocker’s Boatyard was presented the Jeanne Czel Person of the Year award for his service to the show, the association and the community.
Three exhibitors received awards celebrating their 50th appearance at the show: Petzold’s Marine Center, Capital Equipment and Boats Inc.
“Despite Sunday’s weather, we found that visitors enjoyed the show’s new location all weekend long,” Burns said. “People knew that they could come and make a weekend out of it, enjoy Mohegan Sun’s restaurants, free parking, great accommodations and even take a long weekend due to the Monday [Martin Luther King] holiday. Many took the opportunity, which gave them the time to think about what they saw and come back to the show to purchase.”