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Miami boat-show site lawsuit heads to mediation

A lawsuit filed over plans to hold the Miami International Boat Show at Miami Marine Stadium in 2016 is being resolved and is in mediation.

The town of Key Biscayne, Fla., filed suit in February against Miami over the city’s decision to redevelop the Miami Marine Stadium grounds to host the boat show.

But now the town has “set the lawsuit aside to go into mediation,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today.

“That will all get worked out,” Dammrich said. “In the meantime, we are just running full speed ahead on all the planning. It’s quite an undertaking, but it will be worth every bit of it in the end.”

With the 2015 Progressive Miami International Boat Show in the rear-view mirror, Dammrich said exhibitors and attendees are excited about the prospects for moving the show as the Miami Beach Convention Center undergoes renovations.

“People are very excited about the new venue,” Dammrich said. “They’re excited about the opportunity to have boats on land and in the water next to each other, and the ability to conduct sea trials. They no longer have to take a bus around town. They might take the water taxi to the sailboat show, but otherwise they can just spend the day at the park.”

The show will feature “predominantly new boats,” Dammrich said, adding that “we will accept brokerage boats in some circumstances.” The show traditionally has been for new boats.

The show has sent out Frequently Asked Questions to potential exhibitors to help give a clearer picture of what to expect next year, Dammrich said.

There will be about 600,000 square feet of land exhibit space, which will include “large, cutting-edge temporary outdoor structures” — both air-conditioned and open-air — to accommodate boats, marine accessories, engines, nautical gifts, apparel, electronics and services, the website says. The boat show generates an estimated $600 million in annual economic impact.

The show’s move to Miami Marine Stadium will be permanent, according to the website, although the NMMA will “continue to work with the city of Miami Beach and the [Miami Beach] Convention Center during their construction to create a space that can be used as an important venue of the Miami International Boat Show.”

The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach is a separate show that is produced and co-owned by Show Management. Show Management and Soundings Trade Only are owned by Active Interest Media.

The Yacht & Brokerage Show will continue to operate at the Collins Avenue location that it has traditionally occupied.

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