Yachting

RISE OF A POWERHOUSE

Source: From 1976 to today, Bahia Mar has hosted the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show every year but one.

YEAR AFTER YEAR, the docks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are lined with more than 1,000 boats for the city’s fall boat show. But they haven’t always been. Like most success stories, this one has been a journey. ¶ In 1959, only 13 exhibitors assembled at Fort Lauderdale’s, having attended the show since its early days, was there to see it. “I remember, more than anything, the transformation of the presentations,” says Terry Jacome, longtime sales representative and FLIBS attendee. Exhibitor displays were only tables with curtains until FairPromotion formed in 1994 and began to provide builders with open and luxurious roomlike stands. “Each stand would be individualized to express the uniqueness of the brand,” Jacome says. The presentations now reflected the same refinement as the products. ¶ And those products have evolved as well. “When I started, a 60-foot boat was big … 100 feet was the monsters,” says Greg Wyckoff sales rep, who will attend his 40th FLIBS this fall. “Now we are seeing boats that are 180 feet, 200 feet.” ¶ Plus, FLIBS now hosts about 1,500 boats across seven locations. If you walk the main docks from end to end, you’ll trek 1.6 miles. ¶ How will FLIBS develop in the coming years? We’re not sure, but certainly will be there to find out.

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