Letters to the Editor

To benefit county, the Boat Show must go on

Re the Nov. 17 article Miami-Dade delays decision on Boat Show permit: Miami-Dade County commissioners are charged with making critical decisions for our community and are right to weigh them carefully.

However, the very real possibility that the Miami International Boat Show — an annual event in Miami since 1941 — may not move forward as planned is troubling.

The boat show attracts 100,000 free-spending attendees to our community each year. Without it, Miami’s No. 1 industry, hospitality, will suffer significantly.

The Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association represents more than 180 hotels and 300 allied businesses in Miami-Dade.

Our members stand to take a significant financial hit if the boat show does not move forward this year at the Miami Marine Stadium and basin.

Each year, boat show patrons and exhibitors fill approximately 200,000 room nights in the Greater Miami area. Their patronage also supports the smaller boutique hotels and affiliated small businesses that we represent.

If that isn’t reason enough to ensure that the Miami International Boat Show goes on as scheduled, consider its broader economic impact for a moment:

  • $83 million in local spending by boat show attendees and exhibitors
  • Support for 1,500 local Miami businesses
  • $597 million in economic activity statewide
  • And support for Florida’s 55,000 marine industry jobs

The Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association Executive Board and its members hope that the Miami International Boat Show goes on as planned in February.

It has been a major economic driver and steward of our community for 74 years — let’s make it 75 in February.

Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO, Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association, Miami Beach