Marine News from the Great Lakes

Michiganís economy and Detroitís resurgence fuel Detroit Boat Show Growth

Published: Thursday, February 11, 2016

As the 2016 Detroit Boat Show approaches, exhibitors and show management anticipate increased attendance and sales due to positive industry predictions, continued economic growth in Michigan, and the continued resurgence in the City of Detroit. 

                “In celebrating our 58th year, the boat show is a staple in Detroit for boaters.  We’re in an exciting period of growth for the boating industry in Michigan. Our shows continue to grow in increased sold-out floor space. As the market continues to rebound, the association is looking to add additional space for the 2017 show,” said Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) Chairman Tom Haag, vice president of Colony Marine in St. Clair Shores.

                Bulk space sold out 4 months ago and exhibit sales are nearly seven percent over 2015.  Only four booth spaces remain available, with two weeks until move-in. “With the continued industry uptick we are seeing increased manufacturer and dealer presence in the quality of product and displays. It is truly an investment from both that will continue to improve the quality of the show and ultimately impress the consumer,” said Haag.

                The MBIA is promoting more than 30 new models which will debut to the Great Lakes market at the show. The buzz that surrounds the Boat Show is echoed by the city it dwells in. Detroit is hot off the success of the North American International Auto Show which drew in more than 800,000 to the city. Cobo Center is a beautiful, world-class facility after undergoing an impressive $300 million renovation. And according to the Detroit Regional Chamber, more than 125 new restaurants and real estate establishments have opened recently, making Detroit a hot spot for nightlife and a bustling downtown.

"What Detroiters might not realize - or appreciate - is that this is one of the biggest boat shows in the country and this year's show will again be the even larger than last year! There has been great synergy between the renovation and expansion of Cobo Center during the past 5 years and the growth and development of the Boat Show as one of the most family-friendly and fun events we do each year," said Thom Connors, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Cobo Center.

                “Industry predictions are for single digit growth for boat sales across the country, but predictions for Michigan are even higher,” said Jim Coburn of Coburn & Association, Macomb, Mich.  Michigan has outpaced the national average for new boat, motor, trailer and accessory sales for five years running, and as 2015 statistics are tallied, a sixth year is expected.

                The 58th annual Detroit Boat Show is February 13-21 at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Admission to the boat show is $12 for adults; children 12 and under are free with an adult, and seniors 65 and older receive free admission on Monday. Discount tickets, other special admission days and hotel accommodations provided by newly renovated Courtyard Detroit Downtown are available at  HOURS: Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays and Monday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.  Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots. The Detroit Boat Show is sponsored by Great Lakes Scuttlebutt, Official Magazine of the Detroit Boat Show and the Courtyard Detroit Downtown, Official Hotel of the Detroit Boat Show. FOR MORE INFORMATION visit, or call 1.800.932.2628.

tags: Boat Show, Lake St. Clair

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