Representatives of both the Vancouver International Boat Show (February 6 to 10) and Seattle Boat Show (January 26 to February 3) have released attendance data.
Overall, the Seattle Boat Show attendance data depicted a decline this year. The attendance of the on-water portion of the Vancouver show was also down slightly, but organizers are confident that the numbers are due to weather and traffic conditions, and they remain optimistic about the growth of boating in the Northwest this year.
The net attendance at the Seattle show was 49,595, down about 6.3 percent from 2018. Organizers cited the closing of SR-99, also known as the Alaska Way Viaduct, as a major factor in the attendance reduction. The Viaduct was responsible for 100,000 vehicles a day and its closure coincided with the show. Organizers felt that the show was still a success overall even with the highway closure.
At the Vancouver International Boat Show, overall attendance was comparable to last year except for Sunday’s floating show, which had to close due to excessive snowfall. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, numbers were comparable to last year’s floating show. Snowy weather caused hazardous driving conditions through mountain passes and high winds stopped ferry services from Vancouver Island to downtown Vancouver, further reducing possible attendance.
“Despite unprecedented winds, weekend snowfall, and challenging road conditions, the crowd turnout was favorable; and B.C.’s recreational marine dealers and service providers are cautiously optimistic in advance of the fast-approaching boating season,” said Show Manager Eric Nicholl.“
“By most accounts, exhibitors were greeted by serious buyers, and initial feedback from key markets throughout the Province suggests this year will be relatively stable,” Nicholl continued.