NMMA merges Chicago shows

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association said it is combining the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show with Strictly Sail Chicago.

The new Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show is scheduled for Jan. 14-18, 2015.

The combination of two of the Midwest’s largest shows is a result of market demand for a one-stop shop for all things boating and outdoors and significant support from the boating, RV and sailing industries, according to the NMMA.

“Joining Chicagoland’s two winter boat shows creates a world of opportunity for all exhibitors, driving customers to one premier destination for boating, sailing and the outdoors,” NMMA executive vice president Ben Wold said in a statement. “With a combined attendee base exceeding 50,000 people from throughout the Midwest, the new Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show will deliver more buyers, more opportunities to reach new audiences and more value for everyone involved.”

The NMMA said the combined show will maintain its mid-January dates and is expected to grow 30 percent in its first year in the new South Hall location at McCormick Place. It features 840,000 square feet of exhibit space on one level and can accommodate larger powerboats and sailboats.