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  • Sofia Smith and Eden Yacovetti

International boat show attracts people from every walk of life

West Palm Beach’s waterfront streets sit next to rows of luxury yachts. Now, these roads are lined with food trucks as the city welcomes the annual International Boat Show, which offers everything from a range of investment opportunities to a fun family outing for the weekend.

Photo taken by Sofia Smith.

This event is held on Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach, Florida. People from all over the world attend this event as potential buyers or guests. The Palm Beach Boat Show was a four-day event that ran from March 20 to March 23. The entirety of downtown featured over 800 luxury boats, which drew crowds of more than 55,000 people. 

Bob Gunther, from Casey Key, Florida, said he travels to the West Palm Beach show every year with his wife to watch and participate in this event.

“My wife and I look forward to this event every year, where I can visit some old friends who are a part of the boat show,” says Gunther. “I remember when there used to be a few brokers, but it has grown immensely.”

On their website, the West Palm Beach Boat Show reported that over 55,000 people attended, including plus ones. With 800 boats on display and 600 exhibiting brands, there was more to do than looking at or purchasing boats. 

The Executive Director of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Alyssa Freeman, stated that the show has a serious economic impact on Florida.

“What's unique at this year's show is that we have any imaginable boats here for the attendees to see,” Freeman said. “We did an economics impact study, and the numbers were historical, with a $1.5 billion economic impact for the state of Florida.”

Throughout the show, guests were treated to the latest yacht designs, cruisers, inflatables, jet skis, and many marine accessories. These amenities have resulted in bigger turn outs every year and have influenced Florida economically. 

Freeman said 600 people are employed every year from the boat show. The amount of jobs offered at the boat show includes food industry roles and boating jobs, so there are many opportunities. Based on the boat show’s cost and outcomes, the public can judge whether visiting the exhibition is worthwhile. 

Keith James, mayor of West Palm Beach, shared what there is to enjoy while walking down the property of the town. 

“Just having folks walk up and down our streets while enjoying the waterfront; we know it's a jewel of our city,” says James. “To learn more about what West Palm Beach has to offer is by going to our restaurants, spending money in our city and enjoying what West palm Beach has."

The next Palm Beach Boat show is expected to occur from March 20 to March 23 in 2025 with more brokers, marine institutes, and an even bigger crowd than before.

Photo taken by Sofia Smith.

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