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Chicago show reports attendance boost

Total attendance for the Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show increased 7 percent despite slower days Thursday and Friday because of bad weather, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported.

The NMMA said 35,402 people attended the event, which ran Jan. 12-16 at McCormick Place. The show switched its date pattern this year, moving from Wednesday-Sunday to Thursday-Monday to take advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday.

More than 500 boats were on display and more than 100 RVs were for sale. The NMMA said it is receiving reports from exhibitors that dozens of boats were sold at the show and heard good reports on the RV side as well.

“[We] talked to many people from not only all surrounding states, but as far away as Iowa. The buyer is back,” Duane Krueger, of Premier Pontoons, told the NMMA.

“We are excited to see the turnout that the Chicago Boat Show brought, and boat buyers are definitely shopping again,” added Betsy Arvai, of Skipper Buds. “Looking forward to the potential opportunities in the marketplace in 2012. We had a great selling show.”

The next shows up for the NMMA are the Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show, the Progressive Insurance Kansas City Boat & Sportshow and the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show, all of which start Thursday and run through Sunday.

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