From the Captain's Chair
I hope most of you saw the results of the economic impact study that was conducted following the 60th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November 2019. The significant increases in major financial categories solidifies FLIBS position as a critical component of the economy. FLIBS generated $1.3 billion in economic output throughout the state of Florida, up from $857 million in 2015, and total sales were calculated at $715.4 million, up from $508 million, or more than $143 million in direct sales per day of the five-day show. This year, FLIBS is anticipated to be a major turning point and a reset for the global marine industry.
As always, the start of hurricane season is a time to reflect on important planning, preparation, and precaution for everyone in the marine industry. Remember to stay abreast of the Marine Safety Information Bulletins issued by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, especially in times of a hurricane watch or warning, as rules and procedures can change rapidly. Please also take advantage of the many groups, organizations, businesses, and publications that offer detailed specifics and timelines that help boaters be as prepared as possible before, during, and after a storm or major wind event and share the information with customers and clients.
With May somewhat synonymous with Memorial Day, it is fitting to mark this month with a certain measure of gratitude. There is no better time to take a moment to remember our fallen military heroes and regard our personal freedoms with a new perspective. No doubt, this is a difficult economic time for many businesses, families, and individuals, however, there is also much for which to be thankful. With the first phase of opening in Broward County, amid a revered holiday weekend, residents did their part to celebrate the day with respectful, responsible, and long-awaited outings. Boaters, beachgoers, picnickers, and others let caution prevail as they dipped their toes in the water of this small sense of normalcy. As our community, state, and nation begin to carefully reestablish the economy, personal interaction, and new ways of safely operating in a post-pandemic world, it is encouraging to watch a high level of courtesy being exhibited by so many.
The value of relationships has come sharply into focus during these past months, and our marine community can be proud of its earned reputation and ingrained heritage of lending a helping hand in times of need. I want to thank everyone for their perseverance, intelligence, steadfastness, and intuitiveness as we continue to understand the new normal and navigate these unchartered waters.