Despite the slow economy, organizers of the 30th annual Michigan City In-Water Boat Show say the event fared well last weekend.
About 16,000 people attended the four-day event, held Aug. 27-30. The Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, which produces the show, reported Saturday's attendance was higher than it has been in the last few years and that many buyers showed up Sunday despite early rain.
"Attendancewise, quantity is still important, but I think we saw an increase in quality this year," said show manager Ken Alvey, in a statement. "Nobody really knew what to expect leading up to the show, but the good number of sales was encouraging and proved the show is a great place to get your product in front of serious buyers."
Much of the buying activity was found on the Brokerage Pier, where dealers reportedly talked to customers from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
"People will come a long way for a deal, and there were deals all over the show," said Alvey. "We were very happy with the amount of out-of-state visitors and think a lot of boats will be sold through contacts made."
On opening day, show management presented the Michigan City Port Authority with a ship's bell honoring the port's 50th anniversary.
Boat show founder Norm Schultz praised the organization for its hard work and commitment to keep the event strong at a time when other cities are losing their shows.
"The last 30 years have been great, and I'm confident we will be here 30 more," Schultz said in a statement.
The 2010 show is scheduled for Aug. 26-29.