From the Captain's Chair: FLIBS 2022 is on the Horizon
FLIBS’ Significance to South Florida
It’s that time again when the world’s largest in-water boat show flexes its economic muscles. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is owned by Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) and it’s a force to be reckoned with in terms of economic impact in the region. This year, the 63rd running of the show will be held October 26-30 and although records were broken at last year’s show, 2022 promises to be even better as travel has eased, allowing more international visitors to attend again.
The show offers three million square feet of exhibit space and roughly seven miles of dockage where boats of all sizes are showcased. FLIBS attracts over 100,000 attendees from 52 countries and has over 1,300 boats on display. The post-Covid loosening of travel restrictions should be an attendance booster since typically, 10% or 10,000 visitors come from international destinations to see the pinnacle of in-water shows.
MIASF also expects an uptick in the attendance of European boatyard leadership. These builders understand the importance of Fort Lauderdale since approximately 70% of foreign-built yachts come into this market via Port Everglades. Yard leaders will be in attendance at a show that showcases their creations while it generates $899 million in direct sales over 5 days, that’s $173 million per day.
This year, the show will span six venues. MIASF continues to work with the Broward County Convention Center and will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony onsite there on opening day. We’re also working with the Las Olas Marina on the marina expansion and supporting upland structures including restaurant, ship’s store and offices. The marina is scheduled to be in operation for 2023 FLIBS. Meanwhile, Pier Sixty-Six Marina will once again host the Superyacht Village for vessels over 300 feet and Bahia Mar will be the epicenter of the action as usual.
Present again will be the Best of Show program with five judges choosing from finalists. This prestigious award will be featured in the one-hour Fox Sports showcase and any boat (from a center console to a superyacht) is eligible to win.
You can cruise the boat show by day and then in the evening, visit the second annual Fort Lauderdale Concours on Friday night at Super Yacht Village “where cars and culture intersect”. Admire over 40 vintage, exotic and iconic cars, enjoy cocktails and canapes, and check out fine art as well as a curated sneaker collection. The word eclectic doesn’t begin to describe it.
Don’t forget the “Living Seawall”, a project designed to mimic native eco-scapes that combat the effects of climate change on coastal communities. These 3D-printed structures replace natural defenses rather than using hard seawalls that can make matters worse. The concept began in Australia and is spreading throughout the world in the most at-risk locations.
And of course, we’ll hold the 8th annual Global Business Luncheon on opening day featuring Superyacht owner, Carl Allen, entrepreneur, philanthropist and treasure hunter. Invitees include elected officials, C-suite executives and industry professionals who come together to share ideas. The event is sponsored by the South Florida Business Journal and as usual, it’s bound to be a draw.