The National Marine Manufacturers Association is anticipating a 40 percent increase in the size of the on-water display at the Progressive Miami International Boat Show, set for Feb. 16-20 on Key Biscayne — the second year at the show’s new location.
“This is the largest temporary marina ever built in the world,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “The head walk and back walk have been installed already and tents are going up.”
“We’re going from 409 boats to 565 in the water,” Dammrich said. “There will be 1,300 boats in total on display, plus every kind of accessory and fishing equipment you can imagine.”
An additional 100 yachts measuring up to 105 feet will be located in the basin this year. “Again, of course, we will have sea trials, which were a major hit at the show last year,” Dammrich said.
A sidewalk running the full length of the swale between Whiskey Joe’s and the show entrance is designed to make navigating the show easier and more comfortable. A taxi and Uber drop-off and pickup area should help alleviate some of the tangles getting in and out of the show at opening and close.
All 1,004 tent lights have been replaced with LEDs that have 35 percent more lumens after exhibitors complained about last year’s lighting.
“We listened to what everybody had to say and we have tried to be responsive,” Dammrich said. “I’m excited about all the improvements we’ve made and excited to get to Miami where we can showcase the boating industry to the world, where probably over $300 million of product will be sold in five days.”
The 111-foot Biscayne Lady will be located adjacent to the large yacht section of the show as part of a VIP experience, offering air conditioned lounges, upscale dining lounges and concierge services.
On-water hands-on training capacity is doubling this year; last year, 400 took advantage of the classes, and this year will allow for 800 to take classes.
Take a look at a video organizers released touching on some of the show’s improvements here:
The NMMA hired Great Performances, the same firm that managed the Miami International Tennis Tournament, to manage food services. The show will have six major food service locations throughout the show, offering higher quality and more competitively priced food options. This addresses a major concern from exhibitors during the show’s trial run at the new venue last year.
The other major issues — transportation and restroom facilities — are also being addressed, Dammrich said.
The NMMA has added restroom facilities, and will mark them with a big balloon above so they’re easily located. They will be scattered throughout the show, but there will be a big block in the center court area next to the Miami Marine Stadium, so they’re easily located.
The show will use 47 percent more water taxis, more than doubling capacity — now 125,000 people will be able to travel one way via water taxi, versus last year’s 52,000. Management streamlined routes from seven down to four so higher-capacity boats will operate with higher frequency.
The bus system is being managed by Hello Florida this year, and will drop people into a newly-paved area in front of the show. The NMMA and Yachts Miami Beach are sharing the expense of 12 buses running between the two shows — which run concurrently but are separately owned and operated — for more frequent service.
Parking will also be enhanced with VIP parking at the Miami Seaquarium, where handicapped parking will also be offered.
Read more about the Miami International Boat Show in Trade Only Today as details emerge and in the February issue of Soundings Trade Only.