MRA says conference attendance topped expectations

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The Marina Recreation Association reported a significant upswing in attendees and exhibitors at its recent 39th annual Marina Recreation Association Educational Conference and Trade Show.

The conference was held Nov. 2-4 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

"This conference exceeded expectations in every way," MRA president Jim Hayes said in a statement. "The number of vendors who exhibited was up 22 percent from last year, the largest trade show we've had in our history. In addition, our conference achieved a better balance between freshwater marinas and saltwater properties than in the past. We tended to emphasize saltwater facilities in our seminar subjects, even though the membership is close to 50-50."

Keynote speaker Rick Cronk, founder of Dreyer's Ice Cream, shared insights on building a successful company culture and achieving growth through a focus on the customer.

The awards banquet honored Bruce Abraham of Topper Industries. Abraham, who has participated in 15 MRA conferences, won the Duane Higbee Award as the outstanding trade member.

Retiring board member Dave Smith received the Darrell McConnell Award for more than 30 years of service on the board.

The MRA is an association of marina owners and operators throughout the western United States, including Hawaii, and in Mexico and Australia.

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