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MIAMI 2014: Big shows start on Thursday

The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach and the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, two of the world’s most anticipated boat shows, open Thursday and run through Monday in various Miami locations.

Marine industry players are pretty much unanimous when it comes to February’s Miami shows — you can’t miss them.

The Yacht & Brokerage Show, which is co-owned by Show Management and the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and takes place in the water along Collins Avenue, typically sees a strong turnout with high-quality attendees, Ferretti Group president and CEO James Henderson told Trade Only Today. (Active Interest Media owns Show Management and Trade Only Today.)

“We’ve always done reasonably well, and last year we had a great year,” Henderson said. The Ferretti Group is set to repeat last year’s footprint, which went down as the largest display in show history.

The Miami International Boat Show is owned and produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina, and Miamarina at Bayside.

More than 2,000 companies showcased 3,000-plus boats at the 2013 show and attendance was up 1 percent from 2012, drawing more than 100,000 to the area. The figure includes attendance at the Strictly Sail portion of the show, which was 19,742, up 17 percent from the previous year.

“The Miami show for us is a unique show because of the international dealers that attend,” Chaparral and Robalo president Jim Lane told Trade Only. “It’s always one of our goals for that show to introduce again some of our brand-new models. Our view of the Miami show is always very positive because it’s also an industry show. It’s where all of us have a chance to talk to other industry leaders, so that gives us confidence about how they view the market.”

The show has expanded 65,000 square feet outside the 2.5 million-square-foot convention center space to accommodate exhibitors’ need for more space, show manager Cathy Rick-Joule said. “The main floor inside the convention center, the renewal rate is well over 93 percent, and many exhibitors wanted more space, which pushes the parameter to an outside area.”

The Yacht & Brokerage Show also has expanded this year to accommodate increasing demand, spreading north on Collins Avenue another 400 feet to add 30 yachts from 52 to 134 feet, Show Management chairman and CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III told Trade Only. The Miami Beach Marina location was added in order to group yachts larger than 50 meters (164 feet) because interest in those yachts has grown over the years.

The free in-water-only Yacht & Brokerage Show covers more than 1.2 million square feet over a mile-long strip of Indian Creek Waterway between 41st and 51st streets on Collins Avenue and features more than 500 new and used boats valued in excess of a billion dollars.

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