After months of opposition that organizers never could have anticipated, the Progressive Miami International Boat Show is gearing up to take place at its new home — the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin — from Thursday through Monday.
The show is generating excitement and enthusiasm, mixed with perhaps a bit of trepidation as with any unknown, from exhibitors as they look ahead to a show that has been completely reimagined and renewed as it marks its 75th year.
Many builders that wanted to increase their square footage at the packed Miami Beach Convention Center are expanding displays for 2016 and taking advantage of in-water display opportunities with boats 40 feet and larger. The new site also will accommodate sea trials.
The Strictly Sail portion of the show remains at its previous location at Miamarina at Bayside.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association, which runs the event, said it is building the entirely new show from the ground up with vast, clear-paneled, air-conditioned tents that allow natural light to pour in and offer glimpses of the outside world and the water on Virginia Key.
“The product is all going to be nicely segregated,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “There will be an engine tent, a sportfishing tent, an electronics and marine accessories tent. There will be 1,200 boats on display, and it all will be color-coded. In the center of the show there’s this whole outdoor courtyard where there will be a restaurant, and more displays at the entrance. And, of course, when you’re on the docks, a spectacular view of downtown Miami across Biscayne Bay.”