Toronto Show Reports Solid Numbers

Mixed expectations at this year's Toronto International Boat Show were met with a solid attendance of 76,620 visitors. Despite a 16 percent decrease in attendance compared to last year's event, many exhibitors reported strong sales and positive sales leads.

The Toronto International Boat Show was held at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, ON, January 9-18.

“Not only did we have a substantial number of qualified buyers at the 2009 boat show, our exhibitors anticipated the potential impact of the troubled economy and created irresistible show packages to encourage sales,” said Cynthia Hare, show manager.

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) reported exceptional sales. “We sold more than 350 units this year and nearly 90 in the first two days,” said Bob Gossling, Sea-Doo shows and events – North America – BRP. “Sales far exceeded our expectations.”

“I have to admit I was a little anxious, but the opening weekend cured me of that pretty quickly,” said Gary Poole, co-owner of Buckeye Marine. “We had a tremendous show, which carried right through to the final weekend. I think that's because we had some very smart, qualified buyers. They had done their research and knew they wouldn't find a better price than at the Toronto Boat Show.”

“We're very pleased that we sold more boats, from entry level models right up to 26 feet, than at last year's show,” said Brian McComb, owner of Woodland Marine. “It was much better than I expected and gives us some cautious optimism for this spring and summer.”

Crate Marine Sales reported selling three 50-foot Marquis yachts, five large cruisers and an assortment of Regal and Carver models. According to Crate Marine Sales' owner, Greg Crate, there were a lot of buyers this year. “People knew what they were looking for and came here to the show to buy it,” said Crate. “We did better than we could've imagined.”

Once again the popular 10th Annual Boating for Children's Charity Special Preview Night kicked-off the Toronto International Boat Show, drawing an attendance of 1,600, which is up one percent from last year. The charity night's live and silent auctions raised approximately $54,000 for children's charities. This year's live auction included a pair of 14-foot, 145 CC Edgewater centre consoles, powered by Mercury outboards, which were donated by Pride Marine Group. The two boats successfully raised $40,500.

Since its inception in 2000, the preview night has raised more than $500,000 for global children's charities.

The 2010 Toronto International Boat Show will be held January 9 to 17 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON.