Webinar addresses Miami show site plans and concerns

Boat show organizers and city officials held an informational webinar for exhibitors, followed by an extensive Q&A session.

The Miami International Boat Show will cover 600,000 square feet of land at the Marine Stadium Park and Basin with open-air and air-conditioned structures and will use 20 to 25 percent of the basin in 2016 to accommodate more than 700 boats, including large boats, in the area where sea trials will be available.

That’s according to boat show organizers and city officials, who held an informational webinar for exhibitors, followed by an extensive Q&A session, to answer questions from parking to signage to seniority to transportation.

Organizers also said they responded Monday to the lawsuit filed by the village of Key Biscayne that seeks to stop plans to move the show to the stadium park and basin for 2016 and filed a motion to speed up the hearing.

“Our counsel advised us that that is the extent we are able to comment on the lawsuit, but be assured we remain committed to producing a quality Miami [International] Boat Show,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“We’re very comfortable that our defense will be successful, [and] as a result we’re moving forward” with show plans, Dammrich said later in response to a question about why plans are progressing amid the legal battle.

“The city of Miami is committed to holding the boat show at the stadium park and basin,” city manager Alice Bravo said.

Dammrich, NMMA vice president of boat shows Cathy Rick-Joule and Bravo also unveiled more details around parking, saying there will be seven times more spots available than there were on Miami Beach, with 10,000 spots in downtown Miami and 3,800 on Virginia Key. Water-taxi service will transport as many as 25,000 visitors to the show daily. VIP parking will be available for exhibitors’ special clients.

There will be no direct transportation between the Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, which runs concurrently each year along a mile stretch of Collins Avenue.

“They are too far apart, and it’s our opinion that visitors will visit the shows on different days,” Dammrich said.

The Yacht & Brokerage Show, which is co-owned by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and Show Management, will remain at its traditional location along the strip of Indian Creek Waterway from 41st to 52nd streets and is unaffected by the NMMA show’s relocation. (Show Management and Trade Only Today are part of the Active Interest Media Marine Group.)

“We don’t expect to lose any traffic; in fact, we believe traffic will increase,” Rick-Joule said. “As Thom said before, we’re unveiling the basin to South Floridians who have not been able to access it for 20 years, and we think there will be a lot of excitement.”

“If people want to attend the Yacht & Brokerage Show, they could do both in one day if they have a very focused agenda,” Dammrich said. “If they want to be leisurely, they will probably have to do the shows on separate days.”

One of the attributes of the new venue is that with the exception of Strictly Sail at Bayside, attendees will be able to experience the venue all in one location without busing between them, Dammrich said.

The show’s Sea Isle location, where the NMMA used to put boats in the water, is in question now that the basin will host that portion of the show, Rick-Joule said.

Although organizers believed at the time of the webinar that work being done on the Venetian Causeway could affect marine traffic to the location, they later learned that will not be the case.

The bridge closest to Sea Isle – the West Venetian Bridge – will be fixed in the up position while construction is in progress. That means there will be clear access for all marine traffic to and from Sea Isle Marina and Miami Marine Stadium.

The bridge closest to Miami Beach will remain down and will not be open for marine traffic. Motorists will have to use the I-395 or I-95 causeways to go to Miami Beach from the mainland.

Because the basin will accommodate the in-water portion of the show, the closure will have little effect on the show, Rick-Joule said. The basin is deep enough for even large boats to access.

“I don’t see that there’s any restriction on the size of vessel that would be allowed into the show at this point,” she said.


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