Organizers: St. Petersburg Show Featured More Visitors and Boats

Organizers of the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show, which took place in early December, report overall attendance was up five percent over 2015’s event. The annual show was held at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“This show has transformed from a small boat show into a regional boating lifestyle event that’s now attracting many different types of boaters and like-minded enthusiasts,” says Dane Graziano, Senior Vice President and COO of Show Management, the company that owns and produces the show.

This year the show’s total number of boats on display – in-water and on land – jumped 18 percent, made up entirely of new boats. On land exhibit space reportedly increased by nine percent.

“It was an excellent show that attracted high-quality traffic,” says Mark LaPrade, President of International Marine Group, whose display included boats from 22-feet to 45-feet from brands such as Formula, Stamas, Century, Blackjack and Concept. International Marine Group has been an exhibitor at the show since 1984. “We wrote six contracts at the show and have multiple sea trials scheduled,” adds LaPrade.

“We’re seeing the St. Pete boat show get better, year-over-year, with attendees making buying decisions at the show,” says Chris Erickson of Erickson Marine, which had six boats on display from Contender and Nor-Tech, from 25 to 39 feet. “We took a deposit on a 39 NorTech on [the show’s] Saturday from a buyer…and have good leads on all the boats we had on display. Saturday and Sunday were busy and we met with many people who are looking to buy very soon.”

Beyond the main boating attractions, the show offered daily seminars, sailing clinics and entertainment, including children’s fishing clinics by Hook The Future, Sail America’s Discover Sailing Series and Cruising Seminars sponsored by Cruising Outpost and Harken.

Show Management has yet to reveal the date for the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show in 2017.