Organizers report attendance gain at Detroit show

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The Detroit Boat Show wrapped up its nine-day run at the Cobo Center with a 3 percent increase in attendance from last year, show organizers announced.

“We definitely saw a higher level of interest in purchasing, especially in the higher-end models, than we have in years,” Mike Apling, of Devil’s Lake Watersports in Manitou Beach, Mich., said in a statement.

“Last year we had 10 to 15 quotes lined up at the end of the show. This year we have more than 50,” David Goodwin, of Soundwaves in Clinton Township, Mich., said in a statement.

“Sales appeared to be strong and prospects plentiful,” show manager Nicki Polan said in a statement. “Everyone we spoke to at the show, from the boat dealers, marina operators, to the accessories and service companies, seemed upbeat about sales at the show and the momentum leading to the upcoming boating season,”

The show’s space sales were up significantly, 35 percent, from 2012 as the show grew to two halls for the first time in four years, covering more than 275,000 square feet of exhibit space.

“Attendees were pleased with the bigger show and stayed longer to see the nearly 500 boats on display, representing more than 60 manufacturers, including seven from Michigan and three from Italy,” Polan said.

More than 50 cruisers measuring 24 feet and above drew the biggest crowds.

The show is produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, a statewide marine trades association representing Michigan’s $3.9 billion boating industry.

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