Results are in for this year’s Newport Boat Show — held April 19-22 at Lido Marina Village — and they indicate a major increase in the number of show-goers at the gate AND buyers on the docks.
“The attendance at this year’s show was the highest we’ve seen in nearly five years: up a phenomenal 32 percent over last year,” said Duncan McIntosh, show producer. “During the weeks and months leading up to the show, we started to hear that sales were being made on quality brokerage boats. That appears to have carried right through the show, as more deals were being written than we can recall in several years.”
Show-goers came to the Newport Boat Show to board and inspect more than 200 new and brokerage boats displayed in the water — including brand-new models making their West Coast debuts.
“Newport was very exciting for us: We unveiled two brand-new Tiara models and two new Ocean Alexanders, including a 90 Motor Yacht,” said Ray Prokorym of Ocean Alexander Yacht Sales in Newport Beach and Seattle. “Our top three criteria for a successful show are: selling boats, strong leads for follow-up and overall attendance. We scored in all three — with a boat sold at the show, fantastic response to our new Tiara dealership and a record number of people through the booth. The well-promoted Newport Boat Show continues to be the most significant West Coast event for us — and our Tiara and Ocean Alexander brands.”
Chris Herman, of West Coast Yachts in Newport Beach, called this year’s event “the best Newport show in the past 10 years. The people who came were interested in buying,” he explained. “We wrote three Carvers, a 33, 37 and 41; a 41 Meridian; a 38 Sea Ray; and two Pursuits, a 23 and 28.”
The upbeat attitude of show-goers — and their willingness to buy — signals positive economic trends, said J.R. Means, of Bayport Yachts in Newport Beach. “The show was another example of the economy getting markedly better. There were many positive comments from attendees, and we wrote a number of boat deals at the show. This was a very upbeat event, put on by one of the best show promoters in the U.S.,” Means said.
Jeff Helsing, of Farallone Yachts in Newport Beach and Alameda, called this year’s Newport Boat Show “fantastic,” and said he was very pleased with the crowd of buyers it attracted. “We wrote three deals. Best of all, there were a lot of new people, not the typical boat show-goers from the past couple of years.”
Attendees were showing a lot more interest in buying than in the past, agreed Jim McLaren, of Orange Coast Yachts in Newport Beach and Alameda. “We had double the number of leads than last year, and wrote two offers.”
“This was the best boat show we’ve seen during the past three years,” said John Buettner, of Stan Miller Yachts in Long Beach, Newport Beach and San Diego. “We wrote a number of deals at the show and are absolutely negotiating offers at this time.”
“This was a very good show,” added Barry Wood, of Heritage Yacht Sales in Newport Beach, Long Beach and Wilmington. “We wrote three deals that are all holding together. We sold a Tiara on the first day, and then accepted offers on a 45 Californian and a Jeanneau 43. We had a steady flow of serious, qualified buyers during the entire event.”
Chris Elliott, of Hampton Yachts Group in Newport Beach and Seattle, called this year’s Newport Boat Show “our best boat show in two years … We wrote a couple of deals and are now following up on a number of leads.”
To sum it all up, “The buyers are back,” said Michael Gardella, of Fraser Yachts in San Diego and Seattle. “We wrote a 35 Cabo being shown by Kustler Yachts at the show, a 60 Chris-Craft that was Jackie Gleason’s original yacht and a 61 Viking. It was a great show.”