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Houston show reports attendance gains

The 57th annual Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show, the largest indoor boat show in the country, experienced high attendance on its first two days of operation.

The show, which opened Jan. 4, suspended operations the next day because of the National Football League playoff game between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals at the adjacent Reliant Stadium.

However, Houston Boat Show president Ken Lovell reports that both opening-day attendance and attendance on the day the show reopened after the playoff game increased significantly from last year. Lovell said there was a 34 percent increase on opening day and a 22 percent increase on Sunday, compared with the same days during the January 2012 show.

“Our boat dealers and exhibitors say they are really impressed by the large crowds and steady flow of people here, and they are saying that sales are up,” Lovell said in a statement. “It’s always tough when you have to close your doors for a day, and that’s why we are pleased to have a turnout that we haven’t experienced since before the economic downturn in 2008.”

“We are a nearly 60-year-old Houston tradition that attracts attendees from around the world, and we are thankful that so many helped us spread the word about the rescheduling. That really helped create a heightened awareness,” Lovell said.

Lovell is optimistic about the next few days of the show, which features 16 acres and more than 1,000 powerboats, luxury cruisers, fishing boats, personal watercraft, campers and travel trailers and a wide variety of merchandise for the outdoors.

This week’s Houston Boat Show schedule is:

Today and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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