Suncoast Boat Show attendance up 16.5% – Sarasota Herald

SARASOTA — Organizers of the  35th Annual Suncoast Boat Show say that attendance at the event earlier this month rose 16.5 percent from the year before.

It was the largest selection of boats at the show at Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota in a decade, with 11 percent more on display. The largest increase was in new boats 30 feet and larger, a signal of the health of the industry and the economy in general.

“We sold the highest number of units and reached the highest revenue ever,” Jason LeFevre, general manager of MarineMax, said Friday. “Traffic was up and we hope to make our display even bigger next year.”

The event, which had 125 exhibitors, featured a selection of boats ranging from motor yachts and fishing boats to cruisers, runabouts and personal watercraft. A full range of marine electronics and products, as well as paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and other products were represented.

“We saw existing customers who were looking to upgrade and also got great sales from many first-time buyers who came to the show,” Alex Kramer, operations manager with Anna Maria Island’s Galati Yacht Sales. “We were able to write a few deals and left the show with momentum.”

Organizers pointed to Southwest Florida’s growth as helping boost the show.

“The Sarasota market continues to grow and fuel the growth of this show,” said Brett Keating, vice president of marketing for Show Management, the company that owns and produces the show. “This is a fabulous city for a boat show and many exhibitors expanded their space and range of products on display this year.”


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