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Michigan show reports attendance gain

Organizers of the Sept. 15-18 Metro Boat Show at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Michigan said paid attendance rose this year as more than 11,000 people visited a larger show that featured hundreds of boats.

"It was a great show by all measures," show manager Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association, which produces the show, said in a statement. "Attendance and sales were strong, and the attendees were engaged and excited to see such a great display of all things boating. We are pleased with the show's growth, as it means our exhibitors are doing well and Michigan's boat sales will continue to climb."

Organizers said 110 slips were packed with boats — 26 boat slips more than in 2015 — and there was 6,000 more square feet of land space, which brought the total bulk space to 48,000 square feet. Space sales overall were up 10 percent from 2015.

“Exhibitors and attendees came from all corners of Michigan, Ohio and Canada to be at our show,” Polan said.

“Exhibitors and attendees were thrilled to see the impressive expansion into the North Marina this year,” said MBIA chairman Tom Haag, of Colony Marine in St. Clair Shores. “We saw a lot of our current customers at the show, as well as new customers interested in getting into boating — a great sign for the industry.”

“The Metro Boat Show is one of the oldest shows in Michigan. Nearly 50 years old, so this show has experienced its share of contraction and expansion over the past five decades. Despite the fluctuations, the Metro Boat Show has always held its own as being a community anchor, guaranteed to draw boaters from around the region every fall,” said Amy Krueger, president of Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales.

“It was outstanding to see a bigger event this year with good traffic and to hear all the dealers reporting solid activity.”

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