From the Captain’s Chair: Looking Ahead for 2018 January 31, 2018
2018 is off to an impressive start. The City of Fort Lauderdale held primary elections this month, which resulted in run-off elections for Mayor and Commission Districts 2 and 4. It’s important to our industry that we keep an open mind and work with whomever might be elected. It is our duty to educate, inform, and engage our local elected officials to help them become the best marine industry advocate they can be. For those who live in the City of Fort Lauderdale, please note the municipal general election will be held on March 13, 2018.
The new federal tax rate should begin to benefit businesses’ bottom line. Despite the challenges in Washington, D.C., progress on this issue is welcome news. These public policy changes are important, and combined with local industry efforts, such as the creation of the marine foreign trade zone, will continue to free-up capital and allow company investments to grow.
Government decisions at all levels can certainly impact our daily lives: the development of 7,000 more units downtown despite infrastructure overloads; passenger rail impacts to the New River and major east-west corridors; the potential job creation of 50,000 people if Amazon chooses our region; and the repatriation of Apple’s assets to the U.S. We need to be a trusted voice on not just marine industry issues, but also on a multitude of issues that influence our community in both positive and negative ways.
The Miami Yacht Show and the Miami International Boat Show are coming up quickly. MIASF once again hosted a luncheon at the Rusty Pelican in Miami to bring the leadership of the two shows together to discuss collaboration to enhance both the exhibitor and visitor experience. It is essential to our yards and marine businesses that we support these two shows and encourage unification. At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and their success is our success.
At MIASF, we remain positive and forward-thinking heading into another year. Our team is dedicated to “moving the needle” and affecting meaningful change. We will be making a very big announcement in early February about a new program that will employ technology and become a tool for driving the marine industry to the next level of awareness and leadership.
Another major effort within MIASF’s epicenter this year involves supporting the creation of a national boating television show. When we did a little research, we were shocked to learn that networks like HGTV, the Travel Channel, and Great American Country include at least 10 shows about living or moving to Alaska – despite this state having the lowest population in the country; eight programs about RVing; seven shows about the log cabin industry; and five shows featuring lakes and docks; but zero shows about boats and boating – an industry with an economic impact of more than $37 billion! We are in talks with a known sports celebrity and NBC commentator about broadcasting from FLIBS this year, as well as the possibility of promoting a pilot that could become nationally syndicated, providing a platform to grow boating and get in front of the next generation of boaters and boat buyers.