The National Marine Manufacturers Association provided additional information on Tuesday about the logistics of the Feb. 11-15 Miami International Boat Show at its new site on Virginia Key.
The NMMA gave the press a tour of the new venue at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin and offered these updates:
- There will be seven water taxi stops in Miami: Bayside Park; Sea Isle Marina; American Airlines Marina; Dinner Key Marina at Coconut Grove; the Hyatt Regency; the Viceroy Hotel; and the Four Seasons Hotel. There will be 15 to 20 water taxis, each carrying 45 to 130 passengers. On Tuesday the press parked at Bayside Marketplace and rode a water taxi to the show site, a trip that which took about 15 minutes.
- There also will be water taxi service to and from the Purdy Avenue boat ramp on Miami Beach, which will be the hub for all Miami Beach hotels. Water taxi service to Dinner Key and Purdy Avenue will be on the hour.
- Sixty shuttle buses will bring visitors from Miami hotels to the show. The travel time will be 10 to 15 minutes. There will be a lane dedicated to show traffic on the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Rickenbacker Causeway. Through traffic will use two lanes in each direction.
- Water taxi service will start two days before the show (Tuesday, Feb. 9) and continue until a day after the show (Tuesday, Feb. 16). Operating hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday; 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Friday through Monday.
- The show will cover three-fourths of a mile, from the Rusty Pelican Restaurant at the west end to the Miami Rowing Club at the east end. There will be six air-conditioned manufacturers’ tents at the west end: two engine and accessories tents; a sportfishing and accessories tent; 2½ tents for boats 36 feet and smaller; and half of a tent for electronics and accessories.
- A large tent for the accessories that were on the upper floors of the Miami Beach Convention Center in prior years is at the show’s east end. It will not be air-conditioned.
- The show will have cell towers for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon cellular phone service, and 18 portable toilets.
- The NMMA is spending $260,000 on off-duty police to expedite traffic and $3.2 million for electrical installations. The show is paying $1.1 million to lease the Miami Marine Stadium Park property, about what it was spending to lease the Miami Beach Convention Center.
- The top floor of the Miami Rowing Club on the east side of the show will be the foreign buyers’ center.
- Registration, the media center and the box office are at the main entrance off the Rickenbacker Causeway. There also will be a box office at the water taxi dock west of the on-water displays.
- There will be 420 boats at docks on the water and 1,200 boats in all at the show.
- A few exhibitors dropped out because of uncertainty about the show, but that was offset by some additional exhibitors. There will be about 2,000 exhibitors, about the same as at the convention center last year. The upland side of the show is filled and has a waiting list. Future expansion will be on the water side. Advance ticket sales as of Jan. 26 were 23 percent higher than last year.