Hi Gang, Rick here again at Used Pontoon Boats. Show organizors and booth operators busy getting ready to kick start the boating season. After filling the sprawling Virginia Beach Convention Center with the latest the boating world has to offer, show director John Kinsley hopes for smooth sailing at the 55th annual Mid-Atlantic Sports and Boat Show.
"It actually takes four days to load it in. We have a crane and three forklifts," Kinsley said of the nine-day event, which kicks off Saturday. "It's a lot of planning to get all those little details. I feel like I'm invading a small country or something."
Folks can browse the 150,000-square-foot showroom to see the latest models of personal watercraft, pontoon boats, deck boats, fishing yachts, center console vessels and cruisers offered by more than 70 exhibitors and upwards of 30 local and regional watercraft dealers.
Past attendees may notice a change in the date range. Last year, the show ran from Feb. 3 to Feb. 11.
T he move was made to accommodate another showcase set for February, said Kinsley. It also ensures that the show will not coincide with Super Bowl Sunday, and it will run through two whole weekends.
Outside of that adjustment, showgoers can expect a similar experience to last year's event, which was the first Mid-Atlantic Sports and Boat Show held in the completed c onvention center. The show's new digs has allowed Kinsley to expand the event considerably, not just in the number of boating businesses, but in the size and depth of the displays.
"You can get a real apples-to-apples comparison, and that's what it's all about," Kinsey s aid. Several local anglers' groups and nonprofit organizations will have hands-on demonstrations. Despite the industry-wide slowdown due to heightened fuel and materials prices, every commercial space at expanded event is sold out.
Kinsey said his focus was to make the show a truly regional showcase dedicated to providing the public with a wide swath of what's available in the boating industry.
Thanks to John Streit, Correspondent with the VIRGINIA BEACH BEACON.
Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Used Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway
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