New layout and parking this year due to Harborside Event Center construction
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 26, 2017) – The 45th Annual Fort Myers Boat Show will take place Thursday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 19 in downtown Fort Myers.
Due to Mainsail Lodging & Development’s renovation of the Harborside Event Center and construction of an adjacent hotel, the show’s entrance has shifted to the west end of Centennial Park.
“The marine industry is booming in Southwest Florida and along with redevelopment in the downtown area, this year’s redesigned and expanded layout features more boats, products and services than ever,” said John Good, show manager for the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association.
According to Good, this year attendees will enter the show at First and Carson Street (next to Joe’s Crab Shack). Attractive displays will be set up all along the river stretching from Centennial Park through Downtown along Edwards Drive to the City Yacht Basin.
Plenty of convenient parking will be available less than a half mile from the show in the large grass lot at First Street and Altamont Avenue (next to Publix). Parking is just $5 and a free shuttle will bring attendees quickly to the show entrance.
“Even though our layout has changed somewhat this year, the show is still very consumer and family friendly,” said Good. “Without question, there is no substitute to be able to see and feel marine products up close and to actually talk to industry experts about your interests and needs.”
In-water displays in the City Yacht Basin will be larger than previous years. Several new floating displays have been added and not only does this mean more boats on display, but added floating docks will also make it easier to see and board the boats.
A special feature of this year’s show will include appearances by well-known Captain Paul Hebert, of the “Wicked Pissah” from National Geographic’s show “Wicked Tuna”. He will be on-site Friday, Saturday and Sunday to meet and greet show guests at the Maui Jim booth.
The always popular “Fishin’ Frank’s Fishin’ Village” will have its own mini-fishing show. Highlights will include tackle displays with factory representatives on hand, a seminar area with local charter captains discussing inshore and offshore fishing, and the popular fishing simulator, which gives visitors a chance for a virtual battle with everything from bass to marlin. The casting tank is also returning to allow attendees to learn how to cast like the pros with daily casting and cast net demonstrations.
With Southwest Florida’s wide array of waters from back country flats, bays, rivers and estuaries to the Gulf of Mexico, there will be a variety of boat types on display including jet skis, skiffs, bay boats, flats boats, center consoles, pontoon boats, deck boats, cruising boats, performance boats and more.
In addition to boats, attendees will find the largest display of accessory items and marine services of any boat show on Florida’s west coast including electronic equipment, motors, boat lifts, docks, clothing and more. In water at the City Yacht Basin will be both new and brokerage boats of every description and up to nearly 80 feet in length.
The Fort Myers Boat Show offers a unique combination of outdoor and in-water display areas. More than 500 boats, 160 accessory booths, 130 different boat lines and a variety of how-to and boating information displays will be present at this year’s show
Numerous food and drink options will also be available throughout the show from barbecue and seafood to the “Yacht Basin Pub.”
“A show like this is a great place to not only see and compare models but actually purchase a boat,” said Good. “This show will have every major local dealer and many more from across Florida.”
The Fort Myers Boat Show hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 per person, and children 15 and younger are free with a paid adult admission. New this year, attendees can skip the lines and pre purchase their tickets online by visiting https://tickets.completeticketsolutions.com/FMBS/Online/default.asp.
Parking at the lot next to Publix is $5 per car and includes the free shuttle. Additional parking is available in the Edison Parking Garage at Monroe and Bay Street, as well as the Main Street Parking Garage at Jackson and Main Street. There will be limited free shuttle service from downtown to the show entrance.
The Fort Myers Boat Show is owned by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. The association, whose membership includes virtually every boat dealer and marine related company in Southwest Florida, has protected the rights of boaters and promoted boating and the marine industry in Southwest Florida for more than 40 years.