Organizers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show plan to create a new “Superyacht Village” that will increase space for superyacht exhibitors. The new marina and exhibit space will be at the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina at its “Pier South” location during the 2019 edition of the show.
Andrew Doole, president of Informa U.S. boat shows, told Trade Only Today that the planned closure of the Swimming Hall of Fame for two to three years due to construction, prompted the move. “At the same time, we’ve been able to work closely and happily with the Tavistock Group, which acquired Pier Sixty-Six, and they were open to what we wanted to do with the space,” says Doole.
The new location will have deeper berths--allowing superyachts up to 400 feet to dock--than the piers near the Swimming Hall of Fame. “We’ll also have a much larger footprint on land with the restaurant and bar comprising the nucleus of the Superyacht Village, which will be about 50,000 square feet,” says Doole. “By contrast, the former SYBAss barge was about 15,000 square feet.”
Exhibitors in the Superyacht Village will be able to run their own tenders to and from docks at the Bahia Mar to bring clients between the two locations. “We’ll also have a fleet of tenders running across the show,” says Doole. “It will just make it easier for brokers to bring their clients to see the boats. We’re getting a lot of early interest from the superyacht builders. We believe we will end up with a critical mass of large yachts and that will draw the clients.”
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and produced by Informa. It has a statewide economic impact of $857 million, with show sales exceeding $508 million, according to Informa. It will have its 60 anniversary in 2019.