Detroit Boat Show Results Mirror Thriving Industry

March 2019 News Web Exclusive



Crowds filled the aisles, eager to see everything new to boating for 2019, during the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center during its nine-day run from February 16-24.

The show was 50,000 square feet bigger in 2019, with a total of 500,000 sq. feet, and was packed wall to wall with nearly 800 boats. “As usual, our exhibitors made us proud. Exhibitors brought in more boats and more brands, some new to the Great Lakes market,” said Show Manager Nicki Polan. “What resulted was an impressive and professional showing of all things boating and the opportunity to highlight the benefits of the boating lifestyle.”

More than 69,000 people attended the nine-day Detroit Boat Show. Comments from exhibitors indicated they experienced good sales and gathered quality leads during their 9-days at Cobo Center. Studies have shown some dealers can attribute close to half of their annual sales to the sales and leads generated at the Detroit Boat Show. “We were pleased to hear good news about sales, and to see an increase in ticket sales for the event,” said Polan.

The Detroit Boat Show is considered among the top shows in the country based on size, attendance and sales. “Boating enthusiasm is alive and well in Michigan,” said Patti Smith, vice president of sales & operations at Silver Spray Sports and MBIA Board Chair. “It was so great to see the show the largest it’s been in a decade, and have people there full of excitement, looking forward to the summer.”

2018 was the ninth consecutive growth year for new boat, engines, trailer and accessory sales nationwide, and in Michigan, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. In 2017, more than $936 billion in new boats, motors, trailers and accessories were sold in Michigan, making it the 3rd largest marine market in the country behind Florida and Texas. Sales of new boats, motors, trailers and accessories are expected to rise again in 2019. 

Next year’s Detroit Boat Show will be moving to January at Cobo Center, January 18-26, 2020.

The Detroit Boat Show is produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, a state-wide marine trade association representing Michigan’s $7.8 billion boating industry. For more information on the Detroit Boat Show, go to detroitboatshow.net.  For more information about MBIA go to www.mbia.org.

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