The Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Informa Exhibitions have signed a 30-year lease extension with the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center to keep the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at the property through 2050. The new lease also has two 10-year extension options, allowing for up to 50 years in place.
Owned by the MIASF and managed and produced by Informa Exhibitions, FLIBS is the largest boat show in the world in terms of gross exhibitor space and number of vessels attracts approximately 100,000 attendees, 1,000 exhibitors and more than 1,200 boats each November.
With the lease extension in place, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted to allow the operators of Bahia Mar, Rahn Bahia Mar LLC, to submit plans for redeveloping the 39-acre site into an upscale community and the permanent home of the boat show.
"As lifelong residents of South Florida, we understand both the symbolic and the economic importance of the boat show to our marine industry and to the vitality of our community," said Jimmy Tate, who heads the Rahn Bahia Mar development group. "We are committed to creating a resort-style community and waterfront destination that is the permanent home of the boat show."
Established in 1959, the show has grown to seven locations with more than three million square feet of space, including Bahia Mar, five additional marinas and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, all connected by a network of water taxis, riverboats and shuttles.
"We look forward to working closely with the owners of Bahia Mar, the MIASF and all our stakeholders on the continued success of this extraordinary boat show for the next 30 years and beyond," said Charlie McCurdy, CEO of Informa Exhibitions. "With the lease extension in place, we are prepared to commit significant resources to improving the show's infrastructure, technologies and customer services in ways that will noticeably enhance exhibitor and attendee experiences."
Earlier this year, London-based Informa PLC purchased Show Management, the company that managed the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show since 1976, the year it relocated to Bahia Mar. Informa Exhibitions currently delivers more than 200 industry events across the world annually, including the Monaco Yacht Show.
The 58th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will take place Wednesday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 5. Show locations include the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
In March 2016, Show Management signed a 30-year extension to its agreement with the MIASF to produce the show.
"We are working diligently with all stakeholders involved, including exhibitors, venues, local hoteliers and the MIASF, to build upon the strength of this boat show," said McCurdy. "We are committed to enhancing attendee engagement through community partnerships, commitment to local charitable organizations and an expanded focus on the overall experience."
According to results of an economic impact study conducted by Thomas J. Murray & Associates in conjunction with the University of Florida released in July 2016, the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show contributed in excess of $857 million to Florida's economy.
"Informa's exhibition expertise, coupled with Bahia Mar's transformational redevelopment, will ensure that the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show delivers an economic benefit that will continue to secure the region as the yachting capital of the world," said Phil Purcell, CEO/president of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.
In addition to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Informa Exhibitions produces Yachts Miami Beach, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, Suncoast Boat Show, St. Petersburg Power and Sail Boat Show and Monaco Yacht Show.