Yacht show staying put in Miami Beach

It has a new name but will stay on Collins Avenue and be bigger and better than ever, principals say.
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The planned move of the Miami International Boat Show from the Miami Beach Convention Center to Virginia Key has raised some questions about whether Yachts Miami Beach, formerly the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, will be moving, as well.

The answer is an emphatic no, the show’s co-owners and the Miami Beach mayor say.

Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management, Jason Dunbar, secretary of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine convened a press conference Dec. 9 at Miami Beach City Hall to dispel the confusion.

First, Zimbalist noted the name change. The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach has a new name — Yachts Miami Beach. Second, he says, the show will stay where it always has been — on Miami Beach’s Indian Creek Waterway and Collins Avenue (between 41st and 54th streets in 2016).

Lastly, he offered this clarification: The Feb. 11-15 show, though it falls on the same weekend as the Miami International Boat Show, is neither affiliated with nor will it be adversely affected by that show’s move from the Miami Beach Convention Center to Virginia Key.

The two shows have different owners. Show Management and FYBA co-own Yachts Miami Beach, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association owns the Miami International Boat Show. Only the Miami boat show is moving, Zimbalist emphasizes.

“We’ve had calls from South Amer-ica, ‘Are you going to Virginia Key this year?’ ” Zimbalist said in an interview. “We’ve had calls from exhibitors, ‘So you’re moving this year.’ ”

No. “We want people to know the show is staying here [on Collins Avenue] and will always be here, and they can expect it to be bigger and better than ever,” Zimbalist says. He expects 500 boats, evenly split between new and brokerage.

Levine drove the point home. “It’s important for everyone to understand that the boat show is staying,” the mayor says. And that’s a good thing, he says, because it fills hotel rooms, Miami Beach’s bread and butter.

FYBA’s Dunbar says it also employs mechanics, electricians, plumbers and a host of other workers. “The boat show is good for local businesses,” he says.

Zimbalist reminded those at the press conference that this year’s show will have a second location for superyachts — Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina on Watson Island, which can accommodate 35 to 75 yachts from 80 to 550 feet.

Show Management is owned by Active Interest Media, which also owns Soundings Trade Only.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 issue.