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Site ownership change won’t affect Newport shows

Newport Harbor Corp., which has owned the annual boat show in Newport, R.I., since its launch in 1970, assures exhibitors that the show will go on as always despite the pending sale of its Newport Yachting Center venue.

“The Newport International Boat Show is here to stay,” Kerri Quinn Jaffe, the company’s chief marketing officer, told Soundings Trade Only.

On Tuesday it was announced that Newport Harbor is selling the yachting center to the Peregrine Group LLC and that waterfront events could be greatly reduced. The sale will have no effect on the annual Newport International Boat Show and the Newport Charter Yacht Show, Jaffe said.

“We have entered long-term leases for both boat shows, and we and the incoming owners are on the same page,” Jaffe said. “The only change exhibitors will see [at the boat show] is growth in the show and exciting new additions as we enter our 45th year.”

Jaffe said the clear success of the most recent show is a testament to the industry’s continuing recovery.

“Newport Harbor Corporation is committed to the boat show industry. This was our 44th year operating the Newport International Boat Show, and this year’s show surpassed our goals in consumer revenue with year-over-year growth of 5 percent. We also surpassed our goals in exhibitor space with 11 percent growth over 2013.”

Strategically, Jaffe said, the transaction will allow NHC to reposition the company for future growth in the restaurant and hotel divisions, as well as the boat show division.

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