From the Captain's Chair: It's All About Numbers
Congratulations to the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, Informa Markets, and the International Yacht Brokers Association for the successful 2022 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show. Reviews have been nothing but positive, and manufacturers report sales were incredible, with many 2022 models sold out and inquiries strong for 2023 boats.
The new location and singular transportation network in place for this year’s show were two factors in improving the show experience for attendees and exhibitors alike. It was easier to get around, allowing attendees to see more of the show with less hassle than in years past. Hats off to the show organizers for a job well done.
Seeing first-hand how the Miami International Boat Show mastered transportation logistics has me thinking about the ongoing bridge versus tunnel debate. I’ve said for a long time that “no build” is not an option and I still believe that. But as time ticks by we find ourselves still without a solution, and as each month passes, costs only go up.
In 2011, the cost to build a mile on Interstate 95 was already a whopping $125 million. In 2022, that cost skyrocketed to $300 million, more than doubling in just over ten years. As politicians argue about whether to go under or over the New River, construction costs will continue to rise, making this project more expensive each day.
Rather than put political ideology at the heart of this decision, our leaders at the local, state, and federal level should be making decisions based on facts. FDOT has done the math and based their recommendations on unambiguous – and politically neutral – guidelines. Ignoring this information in favor of rhetoric and whim does a grave disservice to our community, not just in terms of day-to-day transportation inconvenience, but in increased costs, as well.
As the debate rages on, I encourage all MIASF members to continue advocating for a swift and fact-based decision on this major issue facing Fort Lauderdale, our residents, and the marine industry.
In more positive financial news, the numbers from the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show are in and very impressive. While 2019 was a record year with $715 million in total sales and an economic impact to Florida of more than $1.3 billion, 2021 far surpassed those numbers.
According to the study released in January 2022 by Thomas J. Murray & Associates, the 62nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show saw $899 million in total sales and an economic impact to the state of $1.79 billion. It was another record year for FLIBS, an especially important accomplishment coming after two years of pandemic-related global economic slowdowns.
And finally, I want to remind everyone that the 45th Annual Waterway Clean Up is coming up this Saturday, March 5th. This is Broward County’s largest and longest-running environmental event, and this year we return to the original format with more than 35 designated clean-up locations.
You don’t need a boat to take part, and this is a great family event for people of all ages. If you have not yet registered, there’s still time to do so on our website. I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday.
CEO & President