St. Louis, Detroit shows report attendance boost

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Attendance was up 9 percent at this year's St. Louis Boat and Sportshow, which was held Feb. 9-13 at America's Center and Edward Jones Dome, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

Attendance was 30,664 this year, compared with 28,172 in 2010.

Up next for the NMMA is the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail Miami, which runs Thursday through Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Seal Isle Marina & Yachting Center and Miamarina at Bayside.

More than 91,000 attended the 2010 show and organizers hope to draw more than 100,000 this year.

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The Michigan Boating Industries Association, producers of the 53rd annual Detroit Boat Show, report that space sales are up and the show has more boats and brands on display than last year. Ticket sales are also up from the first weekend and dealers are reporting that sales are up as more people are buying boats.

The show runs through Sunday at Cobo Center.

"We are very pleased with the first two days of the show. We have strong crowds and serious buyers coming to the Detroit Boat Show. Buyers know this is a perfect time to buy a boat while interest rates are low and dealers are anxious to sell," show manager John Ropp said in a statement.

"People are tired of putting their lives on hold because of the bad economy. Now that things seem to be turning around, people are more compelled to invest in quality time with friends and family, which is what you get with a boat," he added.