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Orlando Boat Show Canceled

Low inventory and increasing cases of Covid-19 forces cancelation; plus, a less gassy cow in the name of climate change.

The Marine Industry Association of Central Florida has added its big summer event to the growing list of cancelled boat shows around the country. Meanwhile, for some humor today, a hamburger giant adds to the global warming debate.

David Ray, executive director of the MIACF, announced late last week that the Orlando Boat Show — central Florida’s biggest summer show with more than 500 boats — would be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re responding to the increases in Covid-19 cases which are now projected to peak here in Orange County around the dates of our Aug. 14-16 show,” Ray explained. “Our dealer group examined at length the entire business picture, including the current limited availability of inventory, and unanimously agreed cancellation is the right choice.”

The group was concerned with the ability to produce a show that MIACF is known for and to which the public would respond. That concern piled on to the major issue of inventory.

One dramatic example was a dealer who normally occupies about 15,000 sq. ft. of space asking to reduce to 600 sq. ft. to show one boat. That dealer has been literally cleaned out of boats, a good-news-bad-news scenario.

“There was also growing concern that manufacturers are having trouble getting parts and components to complete boats, thus projecting inventory questions into the fall and early next winter,” Ray noted. “It all makes one wonder if the glass is half full or half empty.”

His reference was to the June Pulse Report, the monthly survey by Baird Research done for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Trade Only Today. As reported, a whopping 90 percent of dealers reported basking in retail growth for June, up from 70 percent in May. It’s the strongest reading in the survey’s six-year history.

But, while relishing the unexpected strong demand, 86 percent of those dealers characterized new boat inventory as now too low, citing manufacturing shutdowns that hit in the spring along with component supply problems that are expected to continue with the ongoing pandemic.

Still, many major shows are still in a “go” mode, including: the Metro Boat Show (Detroit) and North Coast Harbor Boat Show (Cleveland) in September; the two big Annapolis shows and the giant Ft. Lauderdale International show in late October; and the 45th anniversary Ft. Myers Boat Show in mid-November, among others.

Down with farting cows!

With daily bad news about rising coronavirus cases, let’s cheer for Burger King’s plan to help attack climate change by serving up it’s new “Cow Menu” in restaurants in Los Angeles, Miami, Austin and Portland. Yes, we’re talking burgers made with “Reduced Methane Emissions Beef.” To put it another way, beef burgers made from cows that don’t burp or fart as much as your regular cows. Who knew?

Working with scientists at the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico, and the University of California-Davis, Burger King is taking credit for developing the new diet for cows that will reduce how much methane they produce.

Burger King reports that adding 100 grams of lemongrass to a cow’s diet helps it release roughly 33% less methane in the last three to four months of their lives. Stop smirking — this is serious stuff. It might even make it into the Green New Deal!

I can see it now: Two dedicated scientists out there in the field, one at the cow’s head and one at the tail. They’re patiently waiting, measuring sensor in hand, to capture a measurable burp or really solid fart – well, no, not solid!

I’m not making this up. But I love creative publicity writers who are inventive enough to get lots of media coverage for their client. By turning the conversation about sustainability and climate change into something more outrageous, the fast food chain will easily grab some headlines.

So, I can say with authority that whatever PR scribe dreamed this one up, well, he or she deserves a raise. Thanks for the smile. 


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