From the Captain's Chair: Looking Ahead to a New Year
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the upcoming MIASF annual meeting. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. on May 18th at the Lauderdale Yacht Club, with lunch and the meeting to follow. Join us and be among the first to congratulate and welcome our newest board members in their official roles and recognize our Golden Anchor Award recipient.
One of the topics on our radar is the Bahia Mar redevelopment. Now that the project has received approval for a new 99-year lease, attention turns to work on the site plan. While the long-term lease is great news for FLIBS, our show’s infrastructure and logistics requirements remain a top priority that needs resolution.
I was glad to see the tremendous turnout for the Florida Panthers Night at FLA Live Arena. It was nice to see our industry come together, and we look forward to hosting more of these events in the coming months.
Another recent event that bears calling out is the Palm Beach Boat Show. It was a success and a fitting conclusion to this year’s show season. Despite ongoing issues with low inventory and supply chain challenges, sales were steady, and orders were placed for delivery well into 2023.
Of course, boat shows don’t occur in a vacuum. Despite our industry’s success in Palm Beach, we are still facing the impact of world events. Ukraine, invested yields, rising interest rates and energy costs are all indicators we need to pay attention to. If you look at the RV marketing, growing inventory is outpacing demand and manufacturing will need to adjust accordingly.
We all know the benefits of boating and while Florida leads the nation at the #1 state for boater registration, we need to do better to remain a leader. Outdoor recreation accounts for 1.8% of the GDP, of which boating is 50% of that percentage. This big number comes with big responsibility to not only maintain our position but continue to grow and excel.
I look forward to seeing you at our Annual Meeting when we can reflect on this past year and look ahead to the upcoming years’ goals and challenges.