Newport Exhibition Group announced today that its annual boat show slated for Sept. 17-20 at the Newport Yachting Center in Newport, R.I., has been cancelled.
Due to spikes in new cases of covid-19 across the country, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Monday that — although phase three of reopening would have included no cap on the number of people at outdoor events — she is revising that to 250 people as a precaution.
“Rhode Island and Connecticut are the only two states where numbers are not rising at this time,” said Raimondo during a press conference on Monday, according to Newport show organizers. “I want to see it continue that way.”
Other states including Massachusetts and New York have seen confirmed cases of covid-19 drop, though spikes have been occurring through several states including South Carolina and Florida.
“While we are obviously disappointed not to have the show, because it’s the annual kickoff event for the fall show season, I think it’s the right decision given spiking covid-19 numbers around the country,” Imtra president Eric Braitmayer told Trade Only Today. “They are putting the safety of the attendees, exhibitors and staff first. Many experts feel it’s still not the right time to try to have large gatherings, even in Rhode Island where new positive cases are declining.”
The adjusted and stricter covid guidance regarding events announced by the state was “a strong indicator” that organizers could not move forward with a major event in this environment, said Paul O’Reilly, CEO, Newport Restaurant Group and owner of the Newport International Boat Show.
“There are just too many unknowns at this point and a very high probability that the show will not be allowed to move forward and, even if it was, it would be in a format that would clearly not be valued by our exhibitors and attendees,” said O’Reilly in a statement. “Therefore, we are shifting our focus to the 2021 show.”