Hi gang, Rick here from Used Pontoon Boats with a report from the Quinte Sportsman Boat & RV Show this weekend. Jeff Cox says a great winter escape is just a short drive away to the Quinte Sports Centre this weekend.
The 10th annual Quinte Sportsman Boat & RV Show will help get people's minds off the brutal and snowy winter, said Cox, the event's organizer.
"Escape the winter and see everything to do with spring and summer. It's the easiest way to get rid of the winter blahs."
The show opens its doors today at 10 a.m. with a record number of exhibitors displaying everything from boats, park and travel trailers, motor homes and travel vans to tent trailers, fishing equipment, ATVs and campgrounds.
"We are the largest sportsman show between Montreal and Toronto and this year is our biggest yet," said Cox, who owns Carl Cox RV Sales and Service on Old Highway 2 East.
There are more than 60 exhibitors displaying their wares on every inch of available space both in the Wally Dever Arena, Yardmen Arena, an upper mezzanine level and the paved parking lot around the Quinte Sports Centre.
"I've even had to turn away American vendors because of the lack of space. That shows the growing interest in this show," he said.
Mike Redcliffe of Sault Ste. Marie was attending his second show on behalf of Chapleau Air Services Ltd. located almost three hours north of Sudbury.
The 24-year-old former Madoc resident is the chief pilot for the fly-in fishing charter firm.
"The owner of the company is attending the Toronto Sportsmen Show this weekend and I'm here. This is the only show I do to promote the business," he said "I like this show because I'm the only fly-in fishing company here."
Redcliffe will be manning an information booth throughout the show and he's expecting to be busy talking to prospective customers.
"Last year, I had a lot of interest and had two bookings. This time, I'm hoping for even more bookings," he said.
Redcliffe's company is also giving away a major door prize of a trip for two to a remote northern lake for a fishing getaway.
Wes Bristow has been to every one of the local shows on behalf of his family's business, Bay Marine on Old Highway 2 West.
"It's a local show and we do really good business out of this show," he said. "It's an opportunity for us to show what we carry in boats and promote any new products."
Bay Marine has more than a dozen boats in the show, including bowriders, fishing boats, Seadoos, pontoon boats and its new line of Starcraft deck and pontoon boats and bowriders.
Bristow said this weekend's show is an ideal time to buy a boat.
"We have very aggressive pricing at this show," he said. "The price of boats is down 15 per cent over last year because of the strong Canadian dollar so now is a good time to buy."
This weekend's show features about a half-dozen new RV vendors, said organizer Cox.
"This year, we even have a 45-foot long park model complete with a loft and two bedrooms. It's quite a machine and a great way to spend the summer," he said.
"There are towable, parkable, driveable and, of course, buyable trailers right here at the show."
Participating for the first time is Castle Resort Park of Woodview, Ont. that operates numerous trailer parks throughout the province.
"Anyone looking for a trailer park should consider seeing them at the show," Cox said.
"That way you can find a suitable trailer park without even having to leave Belleville."
Other new vendors will be selling everything from sunglasses and fishing nets with built-in scales to deer feed and deer plots (where homeowners can grow their own deer feed in their backyards in order to attract deer).
"We have something for everyone in the family at this show," he said.
Representatives of the Bay of Quinte Power Squadron will also be on hand to conduct testing for the pleasure craft operator's card.
There will be plenty of door prizes given out throughout the three-day show.
The show continues Friday until 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for seniors while children under 12 get in free.
Thanks to Henry Bury at intelligencer.ca for this.
Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
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