By Ian Margol – Reporter
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The 58th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show kicked off Wednesday and this year's event has an even bigger economic impact for the state than a Super Bowl does.
Early Wednesday morning, before the buyers started walking through the boat show, vendors set up to make their pitches.
"There are thousands of different types of motor yachts, so you can actually jump on one and then another and see the differences between them," said Randy Coleman, of the Ferretti Group.
With six miles of floating docks, the 1,500 boats on display in downtown Fort Lauderdale seem to stretch as far as you can see.
"South Florida is booming right now -- the yachting industry is booming. It's very popular for all around the world, and we're the largest in-water boat show in the world, so it’s the right place to be," said Ron Drew, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.
"We built an extra mile of floating dock. We've also instituted a zone wayfinding system to make it easier for attendees to find their way through the show," said Andrew Doole, vice president and general manager of Informa Exhibitions.
The biggest yacht on display right now is more than 200 feet long, but there is something there for every price range.
Every year the event continues to grow and companies who bring their vessels there aren’t surprised.
"Fort Lauderdale is obviously the mecca for the yachting industry throughout the world. We have beautiful water, we have the Bahamas very close by and this year, we’re going to have beautiful weather, so we're all looking forward to that," Coleman said.
Attendees can also check out luxury vehicles at the event and even personal submarines.
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