Poll: Miami-Dade residents overwhelmingly back Miami boat show, move to Virginia Key December 10, 2015
MIAMI – A recent poll of registered Miami-Dade County voters has revealed strong countywide support for the Miami International Boat Show, as well as its move to the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin at Virginia Key. An overwhelming 87% of registered Miami-Dade County voters expressed their support for the show to continue its 74-year legacy in the community. Additionally, a decisive majority of surveyed voters – 51% vs. 23% – favor moving the boat show from Miami Beach to Virginia Key, a move that has been prompted by major renovation work at the show’s longtime home, the Miami Beach Convention Center. Furthermore, when asked if they supported the move despite the Village of Key Biscayne’s widely documented objections, poll respondents remained firm, supporting the move by a solid 46% to 31% margin.
The poll, which was conducted by Miami pollster Dario Moreno, surveyed 800 registered voters across Miami-Dade County from December 2–4, and was commissioned by a group of local businesses, marine industry advocates and labor groups whose employees and members depend in large part on the Miami International Boat Show for their success. The group includes: Captain Harry’s; Cigarette Racing; Contender Boats; Hopkins Carter Marine Supply & Fishing Tackle; Marine Industries Association of South Florida, (MIASF) a nonprofit trade association; SeaVee Boats; Sign, Display & Allied Trades Local Union 1175; and Teamsters Union Local 769.
“These results reaffirm what we already knew, which is that the South Florida community embraces the Miami International Boat Show, as well as the local marine industry that it helps support,” said MIASF Executive Director Phil Purcell of the poll’s findings. “The boat show, along with Yachts Miami Beach, which takes place at the same time, supports an $11.5 billion regional marine industry that employs 136,000 people and has a tremendous year-round impact on the marine businesses that exhibit there and the thousands of jobs and families that those businesses support. It was important for us to understand what the entire community wants, and the poll gave us our answer.”
Other key findings of the poll include the following:
- 86% of surveyed county voters believe that the Miami International Boat Show is important to Miami’s image as a tourist destination
- 56% of surveyed voters in County Commission District 7, home to the Village of Key Biscayne and Virginia Key, support the boat show’s move to Virginia Key
- When told of Key Biscayne leaders’ objections, surveyed District 7 voters still support the show’s move to Virginia Key by a 48-31 margin, a larger margin than the countywide average
- Residents of County Commission District 7 have attended past boat shows at a higher rate than county residents in all but one other commission district
“Each year, our union membership is heavily involved in putting the Miami International Boat Show together, from move-in to move-out,” said Al Lichtman, of the Sign, Display & Allied Trades Local Union 1175. “Without the show, our members would lose out on an important source of income, just as local marine businesses would lose out on a key annual sales opportunity. Our hope is that the boat show – with the community’s clear support – will move forward as planned.”