Optimism floats as 57th Fort Lauderdale boat show opens Thursday
It’s that time of the year when boats, yachts and superyachts take center stage in Fort Lauderdale. The 57th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show runs Nov. 37 at seven sites across the city, showcasing its global prowess as the largest inwater boat show on the planet.
“I think this, by far, is going to be the biggest one we’ve done,” Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the event’s producer, said on Wednesday. “More boats, more new product introductions, more people buying advance tickets. The weather looks good, and I feel great. Everything is falling into place.” The five day boating extravaganza will feature nearly 1,500 boats and about 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries featuring more than $4 billion worth of small vessels, yachts, superyachts, electronics and marine accessories, organizers say.
“When you realize that 35 countries participate in it, when you realize that 54 percent of people that attend the show are from outside Florida and you have some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world [attending], you have an amazing show,” said Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.
The boating event, which last year generated $531.5 million in economic impact in South Florida and $857.3 million statewide, is owned by the Fort Lauderdale based trade group.