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NMMA reports solid start to show season

Four National Marine Manufacturers Association boat and sport shows closed Sunday with reports of steady attendance and positive results for exhibitors.

Progressive Insurance Atlanta Boat Show attendance, which had been tracking up through the first three days, got hit on Sunday by a National Football League playoff game involving the Atlanta Falcons, and total attendance for the show was down 11 percent, to 20,004 visitors in 2013, according to numbers released by the NMMA.

Despite Sunday’s lower attendance, show manager Larry Berryman reported that the show went well for many boat dealers, with several exhibitors touting sales gains from 2012.

The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show and the Progressive Insurance Nashville Boat & Sportshow saw attendance increases. Chicago attracted 35,119 visitors, an increase of 2 percent from 2012, and Nashville saw attendance increase 1 percent, to 13,866. Nashville participants are looking forward to moving to a new, larger venue in 2014 at the Music City Center.

The Progressive Insurance Kansas City Boat Show had 21,781 visitors, an attendance decrease of 9 percent from 2012. All of the shows reported positive feedback from many exhibitors about sales and quality buyers in attendance.

NMMA shows continue to make waves in the news throughout the country. They were featured in dozens of stories in top-tier news programs and newspapers, including NBC Chicago, the Tennessean, the Kansas City Star and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Up next: The Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow will take place Jan. 23-27, Progressive Insurance Strictly Sail Chicago will be held Jan. 24-27 and the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show will run from Jan. 31-Feb. 3.

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