The last of the industry’s major fall in-water shows is set to go in Ft. Myers, Fla., even as tropical storm Eta rambles around in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are watching it carefully, of course,” show producer John Good told Trade Only Today. “Boats for all our land exhibits are arriving as scheduled [and] our accessory displays are predominately inside the new convention center building.”
The show runs Nov. 12-15, one of three events produced annually by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association & Tampa Bay Marine Association.
Setups continue in the Caloosa Sound (formerly Harborside) Convention Center — the completely refurbished space will host the event for the first time — while some of the larger vessels are still en route.
“While we’re concerned about some of the in-water boats making their way from the east coast via the Okeechobee Waterway, or from northern areas like Tampa Bay, most are assuring us they will be dockside by showtime,” Good added.
Eta’s path remains unpredictable, but the expectation is that it will be on a northerly track by show opening and have little impact on southwest Florida by show weekend.
This year’s show is slated to be well attended: there hasn’t been a major boat show on Florida’s Gulf Coast this year.
“We think boaters in the region are hungry for a big show again, so we are very optimistic attendance and sales will be healthy,” said Good. “One thing’s for sure — from Centennial Park to the City Yacht Basin, it will be an all boating and fishing weekend.”