Boating expenditures in MI exceed $1 billion in 2018

September 2019 News Web Exclusive

Recent data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that retail expenditures for new boat, motor, trailer, and accessory purchases exceeded $1 billion in Michigan in 2018, an increase of nearly 11% over 2017, and the ninth consecutive year of growth.

“It’s no secret that boating is a favorite pastime for Michiganders, and the numbers show that.” said Michigan Boating Industries Association’s Executive Director Nicki Polan. “We’re the 3rd largest marine market in the U.S. and that is very impressive since we’re a four-season state.”

Michigan has nearly one million boats registered, and another 600,000 legally non-registered paddle craft, also ranking number three in the country for registrations.

MBIA, the state’s marine trade association produces the upcoming Metro Boat Show, cruising into the Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, September 12-15, celebrating its 10th year in production by the MBIA.

“The Metro Boat Show has grown each year for the past 10 years,” said Polan. “We started producing this show because our members knew it could be a great success, and with their contribution and the support of the boating community, it’s grown into the largest in-water boat show in the Midwest.”

Prior to the production by MBIA, there was a boat show at Lake St. Clair Metropark for many years. MBIA bid and won the rights to produce the event in 2009, during bleak economic times.

“The boating industry and the Metro Boat Show have rebounded resiliently,” said Polan. “We look forward to a bigger and better event again this year – you don’t want to miss it.”

The Metro Boat Show features hundreds of boats from 10 to 60 feet in length in the water and on land along a mile-long footprint at the Lake St. Clair Metropark. Many features and promotions make the boat show a great event that will entertain the whole family. Food trucks with tasty offerings, yard games including Hook and Ring Toss, Cornhole and Giant Jenga, Kids Zone featuring bounce houses and RC boats, a take-home boat craft and more. Street teams from local radio stations will entertain crowds with games, contests and live talent from your favorite radio stations. Plus, enter to win $1,000 to spend with an exhibitor at the show!

The Metro Boat Show is produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA). The Show, located at Lake St. Clair Metropark, will be held September 12-15. Hours: Thurs., Fri.: Noon – 7:30PM, Sat.: 11AM – 7:30PM and Sun.: 11AM – 6 PM. For more information, current promotions and contest information, visit Admission: $10 for adults, children 12 and under free with an adult.  Parking is $10 – or free to those with a Metroparks permit. General park information can be found at

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