Supporting the return of the world’s oldest boat show to this date, which began exhibiting at Javits Center in 1987, the governor cited that the boating industry “continues to recover from the impact of Superstorm Sandy.” The storm damaged approximately 65,000 boats in 2012 for a total loss of $650 million, according to the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.).
“For many boating enthusiasts and their families, the historical start date of the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show in mid- to late- January has become a much-anticipated tradition – an early peek at spring and summer outdoor recreation, as well as a primary sales venue for local boating businesses,” said Ben Wold, executive vice president of National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which produces the show. “As the oldest boat show in the world and a New York tradition since 1905, we’re thrilled to return the show to its original timeframe and applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the economic value of recreational boating to New York and for his commitment to expanding tourism and outdoor recreation throughout the state.”
Representing more than 50 trade show organizers at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the Friends of Javits organization met with members of Governor Cuomo’s staff Aug. 14 to discuss preferential treatment offered to the New York Boat Show.
“After meeting with representatives of Governor Cuomo’s office this afternoon, we look forward to working through this matter, in good faith, in the coming days,” commented officials. “Considering the important contributions the trade show industry makes to the City and State economies, we remain hopeful that we can reach a collaborative resolution that preserves local jobs and businesses and ensures New York continues to receive critical revenue.”
Several requests were made by Friends of Javits to the governor’s office including:
- That no contract be issued to the New York Boat Show;
- That a period be set for discussions with all impacted shows to work toward a mutually satisfying solution with the Governor’s office; and
- That assurance be made that existing booking policies and practices are adhered to.
According to Friends of Javits, offering the Boat Show more favorable dates, despite the show’s declining attendance, is a violation of the policies and practices of the Javits Center.
However, Javits Center officials said that awarding the contract to the New York Boat Show was a strategic decision to help improve the economy of New York City and State.
“Governor Cuomo has made clear that tourism is a critical component of the State’s economic development strategy – and support of the boating industry is part of that strategy,” said Henry R. Silverman, chairman of the board, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. “The boating industry is important to New York, and it is a goal to make New York State a major destination for boat and water sports enthusiasts. The Boat Show has been a valued customer of the Javits Center for many years and we are excited about the opportunity to bring about its revival.”
The New York Boat Show is an annual family-oriented exhibition of the newest product lines and equipment for boat manufacturers and small businesses in the state. Manufacturer and dealer sales data indicates that the show is directly responsible for 30 to 50 percent of annual revenue when held in mid- to late-January. In addition, the National Marine Manufacturers Association plans to introduce a fall boating show at the Javits Center and has secured dates from 2014 to 2019.
In years when the show was held in late December or early January, the New York Boat Show experienced significant drops in attendance that, in turn, impacted the recreational marine industry in the state. The recreational boating industry has a total annual impact of $5.79 billion in New York State.
Both fall and winter dates for the show have been scheduled through 2019:
2014: Jan. 1-5; Sept. 10-14
2015: Jan. 21-25; Sept. 16-20
2016: Jan. 27-31; Sept. 7-11
2017: Jan. 25-29: Sept. 6-10
2018: Jan. 24-28; Sept. 12-16
2019: Jan. 23-27; Sept. 4-8