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Post-Sandy, NY and NJ dealers recover for successful boat show

NewYorkBoatShow1

Brent Renneke
January 8, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

The first major New York boat show following Hurricane Sandy came and went with decreased attendance, but considering it was one day shorter than previous years and attracted national media attention, it was considered a success.

Just more than two months since Sandy made landfall, the New York Boat Show’s attendance decreased 19 percent to 32,691, compared to 40,120 in 2012, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Contributing to the decreased visitor number was the shortening of the show by one day.

Jon Pritko, one of the show’s producers, said the show was moved up due to a schedule conflict at the Javits Center and was shortened to four days due to how the holidays fell. Pritko said NMMA plans to return to the five-day format next year.

Despite many of the nearly 250 exhibitors still recovering from the hurricane’s destruction, Chris Squeri, executive director of the New York Marine Trades Association, was impressed with the resiliency of area dealers, 75 to 80 percent of which he estimated were from New Jersey or New York.

“It is remarkable the show looked as good as it did,” he said. “There are some dealers that were turned upside down, some even still operating out of trailers. So for them to put a show together that looked like this is incredible.”

Squeri said the show looked as good as it has in the last five years.

Going into the show, Squeri’s main concern was that it was held too soon following the hurricane with many boat owners still waiting or just receiving their settlements. He also said many New York boaters have waterfront homes that were assumedly affected by the storm. Therefore, replacing a boat would take a backseat to home repairs.

The New York Boat Show kicked off the winter boat show season with a significant amount of press, according to a NMMA release. National outlets covering the event included the Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, CNBC.com and Fox Business.

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