The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) and Informa Exhibitions have signed a 30-year lease extension with the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center to keep the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) at the facility for the foreseeable future. The new lease contains two 10-year extension options that could see FLIBS remain at Bahia Mar for the next 50 years.

"We look forward to working closely with the owners of Bahia Mar, the MIASF and all our stakeholders on the continued success of this extraordinary boat show for the next 30 years and beyond," said Charlie McCurdy, CEO of Informa Exhibitions. "With the lease extension in place, we are prepared to commit significant resources to improving the show's infrastructure, technologies, and customer services in ways that will noticeably enhance exhibitor and attendee experiences."

As well as Informa Exhibitions planning to improve the show, The Fort Lauderdale City Commission has voted to allow the operators of Bahia mar, Rahn Bahia Mar LLC, to submit plans for a much-needed redevelopment of Bahia Mar’s 157,827sqm site.

"As lifelong residents of South Florida, we understand both the symbolic and the economic importance of the boat show to our marine industry and to the vitality of our community," said Jimmy Tate, who heads the Rahn Bahia Mar development group. "We are committed to creating a resort-style community and waterfront destination that is the permanent home of the boat show."

In an economic impact study published in 2016, commissioned by Show Management under its previous ownership (Show Management was subsequently purchased by Informa Exhibitions) and conducted by Thomas J Murray & Associates, in conjunction with the University of Florida, it was estimated that FLIBS contributes around $857.3 million to the Floridian economy.

"Informa's exhibition expertise, coupled with Bahia Mar's transformational redevelopment, will ensure that the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show delivers an economic benefit that will continue to secure the region as the yachting capital of the world," said Phil Purcell, CEO/President of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

Picture credit: Forest Johnson