Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2016 Doesn’t Disappoint, Featuring Superyachts, Luxury Cars, Helicopters And A Whole Lot More
The 57th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is officially underway with over $4 billion in yachts, marine equipment, luxury cars, art and more lining docks along the Intracoastal.
More than 100,000 visitors from 30 countries are expected over the course of the five-day event, which began Thursday, Nov. 3, with a primetime preview and will run through Monday, Nov. 7.
The show is spread among eight proprieties, including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Marina, Broward County Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six.
Mentioning the excitement surrounding the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler welcomed exhibitors, organizers, officials and press to what he likes to call the city’s Super Bowl.
“It’s like the two greatest events you can have back to back,” he said.
In addition to featuring vessels including cabin cruisers, skiffs, catamarans, motor yachts and more, this year’s show showcases eight megayachts larger than 200 feet—the largest measuring about 270 feet. Exhibitors at the show include Azimut Yachts, Bell Helicopter, HMY Yacht Sales, Westport, Worth Avenue Yachts, Prestige Yachts, and more.
Click through photos from FLIBS 2016. (Story continues below.)
This year’s show boasts new features including a Superyachts Pavilion with a center for food and drinks, a sold-out VIP lounge at the Swimming Hall of Fame, air conditioning at the Sailfish Pavilion at the Convention Center, and a colorful entranceway at the Bahia Mar designed by a Lighthouse Point artist. Food options range from create-your-own salads at The Market Place to lobster rolls and fried shrimp at Off The Dock, plus concession stands from area restaurants.
Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, noted last year’s show saw $500 million in direct sales and contributed $857 million to the state’s economy.
Paraphrasing U.S. Olympic hockey team coach Herb Brooks, who once said “Great moments are born from great opportunities,” he stressed the importance of the region in the marine industry.
For MarineMax CEO Bill McGill, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat is not only a great opportunity, it’s one of the most important events of the year. He has over 150 team members on site ready to assist those who have already booked appointments.
“We have high expectations, and we believe it will be a victory as it has in the past and will continue to be," he said.
Tickets are $28 per person and $12 for children ages 6 through 15. For parking information and more, visit our Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show guide here.