Opening day of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was a story of more, more, more — more space, more boats, more exhibitors, and potentially, more business.
According to Skip Zimbalist, owner of Show Management, the company that produces the show, this is the largest Ft. Lauderdale show ever, now stretching to more than 3 million square feet. The show also expanded farther north into Las Olas Marina and the Sailfish Pavilion at the convention center is 70,000 square feet larger. There are more exhibitors, and in terms of revenue, this will be the largest show ever, he said.
The docks were busy, too. Give the nice weather a nod for contributing to that, but captains and crew confirmed that they welcomed lots of visitors as well. Some were too busy giving tours to even break for our Best Dressed crew photos (see the ones we could capture on pages 4-5).
Vendors were positive about the crowd on the docks and several companies that had been absent in recent years have returned.
Smiles were plentiful and everyone seemed upbeat. Perhaps it was just traditional opening-day optimism. But perhaps it was much more.
Lucy Chabot Reed, Tom Serio and Mike Price contributed to this report.