BIG CHANGES IN MIAMI by Peter Janssen
The Miami boat shows, yes, both of them, won’t be the same this year. The big yacht show along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, which has been free for years, now will charge $20 admission. And the National Marine Manufacturers Association/Progressive Insurance boat show leaders say they have learned from last year, when they moved from the Miami Beach Convention Center down to the marine stadium on Virginia Key, and promise to have many more free shuttle buses and larger water taxis to make it easier to get down there. Both shows run over Presidents’ Day weekend, from Feb. 16-20.
The renamed Yachts Miami Beach show, along Collins from 41st to 54 Streets across from the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels, will have more than 500 new and brokerage yachts and cruising boats in the water, plus tents full of electronics, engines and accessories, all worth more than $1 billion. The show is owned by both Show Management and the International Yacht Brokers Association, who hired EDSA, an international design firm, to make it more appealing to an affluent clientele. (EDSA’s previous designs include Atlantis in the Bahamas and Disney resorts.) Now, instead of just climbing out of a cab or bus and wandering the docks, you will walk into the show through one of five new EDSA-designed entrances. Then you’ll be redirected to a network of floating docks, exhibitors’ tents and food and drink concessions.
For schedules, parking, fees and more information, go to: http://yachtsmiamibeach.com
Meanwhile, more than 1,300 new boats (including 550 in the water) will be on display down on Virginia Key. Some exhibitors will offer test rides at the show. Last year I spent more than two hours, and a combination of a cab and bus, to get there from Miami Beach. With more buses and water taxis, the NMMA says those transportation problems are all in the past. But there was a lot of excitement, and a lot going on, at the new venue. And all that should be even better this year.
For details about that show, go to: http://miamiboatshow.com