MIAMI BEACH – (CBS4) – An industry that scraped the bottom in the depths of the recession is now getting a lift. The Miami Beach Convention Center is the annual headquarters for the Miami International Boat Show and the big event kicks off on Thursday.
Estimates are for 100,000 visitors to arrive over the five day show, reflected in the polished fiberglass of 2500 boats.
Cathy Rick-Joule is a vice president with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and she is overseeing the huge event. We talked as workers moved boats—dozens of them—into position on the cavernous convention floor.
Rick-Joule said, “This event, we were 25 percent off (occupied display space) in the last couple of years. We have only gained back about six percent of that. We are not going to have a recovery maybe as quick as other industries but we are certainly starting to see improvement.”
It is sentiment many local boatyards and boat retailers cautiously share. Joe Garcia works for one of those boat retailers in Pompano Beach and says his company has hired about a dozen workers after slashing its workforce at the bottom of the recession.
Garcia said, “(A boost matters) from the salespeople, down to the service guys who work on the boat, the detailers, the bottom painters.”
No one is arguing that it is all smooth sailing, but the boating industry is at least willing to hope it is on a slightly more optimistic heading these days.
To purchase tickets to the boat show online, click here. Below is information about the location, hours and admission prices.
Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach.
Premier Day — Thursday, February 17, 10:00am-6:00pm
Friday, February 18, 10:00am–8:00pm
Saturday, February 19, 10:00am–8:00pm
Sunday, February 20, 10:00am–8:00pm
Monday, February 21, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sea Isle Marina and Yachting Center, 1635 North Bayshore Drive, Miami, 10am – 6pm daily
Strictly Sail Miami at the Miamarina at Bayside, 401 Biscayne Blvd., 10am – 6pm daily
Premier Day – $30.00
Adults – $16.00
2 Day Pass – $30.00
Youth, age 13–15 years – $6.00
Children ages 15 & younger enter FREE! (when accompanied by a paid adult)