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Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show still on for October
Published Thursday, September 10, 2020

EFI Daily Newsclips
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
By   – Managing Editor, South Florida Business Journal

While most events in South Florida have been canceled over safety concerns with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is moving full steam ahead.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), along with show producer Informa U.S. Boat Shows, announced Thursday that the 61st version of the annual boat show will go on as planned.

At the Broward County Commission meeting, officials gave the green light for the five-day show to begin Oct. 28 with safety standards in place.

Some of the precautions include contactless ticketing system, 14 new entrances, docks widened to widths up to 30 feet, temperature checks for guests, and sanitization systems.

All exhibitors and attendees will be required to wear face coverings, and all customer lines – including entrances, restrooms, and food and beverage stands – will be spaced out, with visual markers every 6 feet. Hygiene stations will be installed throughout the show area.

"[The boat show] is a major economic driver for the marine industry and the surrounding community. We recognize the importance of the show and have spoken with key stakeholders, customers and local government officials, and the resounding response has been in support of moving forward with the outdoor event this fall, " said Andrew Doole, president of Informa U.S. Boat Shows. "We have worked diligently to develop a plan so that every person who attends the show can do so with confidence. We are grateful for the support of our elected officials and our community.”

Other major events in the tri-county region have not been as lucky.

On Sept. 2, organizers canceled Art Basel in Miami Beach. The art showcase attracts tens of thousands of visitors, but travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic played a role in the decision to cancel the event, scheduled for Dec. 3-6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The 2019 show attracted about 81,000 attendees and had a $13 million economic impact on the region.


The Winterfest Boat Parade scheduled for Dec. 12 in downtown Fort Lauderdale, was canceled in August. Lisa Scott-Founds, president and CEO of Winterfest Inc., the organization that produces the parade, said in a statement that it was "socially responsible for the health and safety of our community" to cancel the holiday event.

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the largest boat show in the world and spans 90 acres. In 2019, the show had an economic impact of $1.3 billion in Florida and provided more than 8,000 full-time jobs.

“[The boat show] is an opportunity to jump-start the local and state economy through direct sales, as well as hotel stays, transportation, dining and recreation," MIASF CEO/President Phil Purcell said. "Our land-based businesses benefit from the show just as much as our marine businesses. We are pleased our local officials continue to recognize the importance of this event and have given us their full support to move forward.”


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