Written by Catherine Lackner on May 28, 2019
Though there was one major unexpected expense, the Miami Yacht Show’s first year downtown was successful, directors of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority heard Friday.
The show, which had been held on Miami Beach for 30 years, generated $484 million in direct economic impact in February, when it moved to the former Miami Herald site, now owned by the Genting Group. The Biscayne Bay property is sandwiched between the MacArthur and Venetian causeways and has its own Metromover stop.
“We’re here to stay,” Paul Flannery, executive director of the International Yacht Brokers Association, which co-owns the show, told the authority’s board members.
The show drew about 32,000 people, up 7% from last year, said Andrew Doole, general manager of Informa Global Exhibitions, the show’s producer and co-owner. There were 189 exhibitors, up from 150 last year, he added.
The show was responsible for $27 million in new room night bookings, said Robert Hill, general manager of the InterContinental Hotel Miami. “This event brings longer lengths of stay and a prestigious clientele,” he said.
“We’re not looking for 100,000 people,” Mr. Doole said. “We want 34,000 people who can afford the yachts.”
“We’re happy to have you; tell us how much better we are than Miami Beach,” quipped Ken Russell, authority chair and Miami commissioner.
“We have more land available and it’s easier for the attendees to walk around,” Mr. Doole said. “It’s also easy to get to, because of Metromover and Brightline. The majority of attendees like it.”
The show incurred a major expense because the City of Miami Department of Fire Rescue insisted that a stand-pipe water system be installed, rather than the pumps that show producers had used on Miami Beach, Mr. Doole said.
“When the fire marshal orders that, it’s impossible to negotiate,” Mr. Russell said. “But something we should understand is that Genting is the property owner. They should not have put this on the shoulders of the tenant, so that’s something to explore with them. It could scare off a potential tenant. But we hope to see you next year.”