Hi gang, Rick here again from Used pontoon Boats with yet another boat show update. Oklahoma City Boat Show sets sail Thursday. It happens more than one would imagine, according to Tom Stidham, who owns Norris Marine in Norman.
So why does the Oklahoma City Boat Show do so well?
“Cabin fever,” Stidham said. “Dealers are hungry because it is winter, and we’ve found that the harsher the winter, the more people come out here.”
The 53rd edition of the show opens at the state fairgrounds today from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will continue from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and end with a Sunday program from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bad weather equals good attendance, Stidham said. Those hoping for deteriorating weather conditions just might get their wish. The National Weather Service calls for highs in the 30s today with a 20-percent chance of light snow or sleet, a 50-percent chance of the same on Friday with temperatures in the 30s, and dry on Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 30s and 40s.
Oklahoma City Boat Show Director Nick Sadler said the show will be in the Travel and Transportation Building, Cox Pavilion and the Centennial Building. He’s expecting 10,000 to 15,000 visitors to the show, which will feature 12 metro boat dealers and up to 300 boats.
“It’s very lucrative for the boating business; we’ll have boats from $8,000 on up to $160,000,” Sadler said. “For people who love boating, it’s tough from October to January and they are excited to be able to see the new line of boats.”
Sadler said the show will include powerboats, pontoons, deck boats, bass boats and runabouts.
“About six dealers will have competition ski boats this year,” Sadler said. “A lot of us used to ski and now it’s all about wakeboards and competition ski boats. It’s a big change in the industry.”
In addition to the dealers, the show will have booths manned by 100 different exhibitors who will sell everything from women’s jewelry to the latest boat accessories, skis, life jackets, purses to cleaning solutions.
This year will mark the first time the show will be presented in one long weekend. It had been spread over six days and two weekends in the past.
“Our attendance was always better the first weekend than the second,” Sadler said. “During the second weekend we were conflicting with boat shows in Tulsa and Dallas, and with the Super Bowl. We’re down to four straight days but will have almost the same amount of hours for the show.”
Stidham said the show is a great opportunity for dealers to get off to a good start for the year. “As high as 25 percent of our business can be related to this show,” said Stidham, who bought Norris Marine in 1971 and has had boats on display at the show since then. “Our numbers (for sales) through the years have ranged from 25 on the low side to 60 on the high side for this show. We expect to be in that range again this year.”
Stidham said he’s looking forward to completing it in the same week.
“It was confusing to people having it two weekends; this is all for the better,” Stidham said. “Another good thing is that boat representatives can come in and make it all in one week. This show offers a lot of additional incentives for people and it also gives up a look at what’s hot this year.”
Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Used Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway
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