Organizers of the April 7-9 Lake Havasu Boat Show said attendance was up more than 25 percent this year and exhibitors were still requesting space the day before the show opened.
Lake Havasu City, Ariz., one of the most popular boating areas in the Southwest, hosted the area’s 26th annual boat show. It is produced by the Lake Havasu Marine Association.
“It was the largest spike in attendance and exhibitors in the 26-year history of the Lake Havasu Boat Show,” show producer Bob Brown said in a statement. “This boat show has been on a steady uptrend over the past six years. It definitely rebounded big time in 2017.”
Organizers said the increase in visitors brought the overall show attendance near 10,000. The number of exhibitors and vendors also increased to 142.
Brown said dealers and manufacturers were reporting encouraging post-show sales numbers. As organizers expected, pontoons seemed to lead the way, with jetboats and personal watercraft not far behind. Even the performance sport boat dealers were upbeat about their sales success at the show.
In addition to having favorable weather, the 2017 show was the first event that provided boaters with direct access from the water, Brown said. They could pull up to a newly created 600-foot-wide white-sand beach that borders the popular London Bridge Channel and walk into the show.
“There probably wasn’t any time during the show that didn’t have at least 30 to 40 boats lining that beach,” Brown said.
For additional entertainment, there were personal watercraft races that attracted 150 competitors on Saturday and Sunday. A chili cook-off featured more than 40 teams vying for nearly $4,000 in prize money.
The Lake Havasu Boat Show will return April 6-8, 2018.