The Strictly Boaters Boat Show that opens Friday at South Jersey Marina in Cape May, N.J., is already showing signs of an industry on the rebound after Hurricane Sandy.
“The best way to illustrate why I say that maybe the industry’s on the mend is ... we had to rethink the show to accommodate all the boats on land,” said Mark Allen, who heads up marketing at South Jersey Marina.
That’s due to exhibitors coming from as far away as two hours north, such as New Jersey Outboards, Allen told Trade Only Today. This year’s show has 14 dealers showing up to exhibit; last year there were just nine.
“Cape May was unscathed by the hurricane. We were very fortunate,” Allen said. “We had some water downstairs, some sand to clean up, but that was it. Some of these guys got hit hard.”
The show, in its fifth year, changed the name from “Strictly New Jersey” because some dealerships had customers crossing over from Pennsylvania.
“We’ve got more participants this year than last. Last year, we had 15 boats on land, and this year, we’ve got 35 boats on land and every bit as many in the water,” Allen said. “We’re going to have a full marina.”
The show runs Friday through Sunday.
— Reagan Haynes