Feb 12, 2016
The 69th annual Seattle Boat Show wrapped up on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 with an increase in attendance of 1.4 % over 2015. The nine day event attracted visitors from 37 states, three Canadian provinces, one Canadian territory and from as far away as Australia, Great Britain and China. Attendance was 52,427 compared to 51,684 last year. Exhibitors across the board were extremely positive about the quantity and quality and positive attitude of show attendees.
“We were very pleased to see an increase in attendance,” said George Harris, president/CEO, Northwest Marine Trade Association. Attendees showed up with enthusiasm, ready to shop, plan and prepare for every type of boating in the Northwest, and the reports from our exhibitors are some of the most positive we’ve seen in years. ”
Exhibitors upbeat about the show
Exhibitors from all aspects of the industry had extremely positive things to say about the show. Comments included:
“It was our best Seattle Boat Show ever in terms of unit sales. We were up 27% in units over last year and 22% in dollar volume. We couldn’t be more pleased. Product innovation played a big part. Buyers were seeing enough new features and innovations this year that helped them substantiate the value. ” James Baker, vice president, Seattle Boat Company, dealer for Cobalt and Malibu boats.
“This was my first year as an exhibitor and it exceeded my expectations. The interest in paddling sports was high, both from boaters looking to equip their boats with paddling toys, and from people for whom paddling is their primary on-water recreation. The show is clearly a great venue for reaching paddling enthusiasts and we’ll definitely be back.” Greg Whittaker, owner, Mountain to Sound Outfitters and co-founder, Northwest Paddling Festival.
“We were excited to see the entry level buyer back, something we hadn’t seen much of since before the recession. But many categories were strong. It appears there are a lot of people with a renewed interest in boating. We ended the show up 50% in unit sales and 30% in dollar volume.” Kevin Roggenbuck, CEO, Lake Union Sea Ray.
“We had a steady stream of qualified prospects throughout the nine days of the show. There wasn’t a single day we were twiddling our thumbs! We’ve never been so busy post-show. It was a huge success for us.” Dan Krier, vice president, Marine Servicecenter, dealer for Jeanneau, Lagoon, Island Packet and Blue Jacket yachts.