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Rhode Island Boat Show highlights regional industry in five venues

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association
April 4, 2013
Filed under News

Unique Weekend Event Showcases Boats, Marine Companies and Ocean State Coastline

Bristol (R.I.) April 3, 2013 — The Rhode Island marine trades will have an opportunity to connect with customers at a unique event this May: the five-venue Rhode Island Boat Show. This statewide show—which takes place the weekend of May 4-5—will showcase boats, equipment, marine companies, and the Ocean State’s stunning coastline and its boating lifestyle. With no admission fee for consumers, organizers are encouraging the public to use the weekend to travel to the show’s different waterfront venues and learn what Rhode Island offers to boaters of all types.

“We want people to come to this boat show from throughout the southern New England region—to enjoy themselves and explore why Rhode Island should be their boating home,” says Wendy Mackie, CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), which endorses the show.

This event is now in its third year. According to Ryan Miller, owner of Latitude Yacht Brokerage of Newport and one of the original founders of the show, this event started in 2011 with one venue. It was a time when the country was climbing out of a recession and Rhode Island’s marine industry banded together to promote their businesses and products during the spring season. “The event was simply a way to say, We are open for business,” says Miller. “Now that the economy has corrected itself, we have the opportunity to really showcase what Rhode Island has to offer recreational boaters.”

An idea that started out of necessity has proven its worth and found a place on Rhode Island’s annual calendar. The show has continued as a homegrown, industry effort. It was expanded to three venues in 2012. This year’s show includes five venues in Bristol, Jamestown, Middletown, Wakefield and Warwick.

To make the show as attractive as possible to attendees and the industry, organizers do not charge consumers an admission fee or a parking fee. The show is designed to be family and pet friendly, with on-the-water opportunities at some venues. Exhibitors are also allowed to showcase as many boats and products as they choose for one low fee.

Exhibitor entry fees will be used to market the show and attract consumers. This year, that marketing plan includes a heavy emphasis on email communication, a show website at www.rhodeislandboatshow.com that lists boats on view at each venue, an active Facebook page, and print advertising in consumer magazines. New and brokerage sail and power boats will be displayed both on the water and on land.

“This boat show has a unique feel to it, and each year more companies and more individuals come to understand the event’s appeal,” said Mackie. “This is our chance as an industry to promote our businesses and the fact that we are all located in the Ocean State.”

A particular focus of RIMTA at this show is to highlight the benefits of consumers selecting Rhode Island as their boating home. Many out-of-state individuals have already made that choice: approximately half of the 44,000 registered boaters in Rhode Island live in other states. RIMTA will also promote the state’s no-sales-tax policy on boats that are sold and registered in the state, and on boating services such as refits, repairs, storage, mooring, and berthing.

The show’s venues include Bristol Marine & Fleet Yacht Sales (Bristol), Conanicut Marine Services & Latitude Yacht Brokerage (Jamestown), West Marine (Middletown), Silver Spring Marine (Wakefield), and Marinemax & Brewer Greenwich Bay Marina (Warwick).

The deadline for exhibitors to register is Tuesday, April 9. To learn more, visit the show’s website (www.rhodeislandboatshow.com) or contact RIMTA (401-396-9619, info@RIMTA.org).

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