On 27 June it was announced that the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) faces an uncertain future after the owner and operator of the Bahia Mar resort and marina, TRR Bahia Mar LLC, withdrew its proposal for the redevelopment of Bahia Mar and the extension of the FLIBS lease.

Show Management has since released figures from an independent economic impact study, defending the continued economic relevance of the show in light of its ever shrinking lease period. FLIBS’s current lease only enables the show to continue at its current location until 2020.

TRR Bahia Mar LLC cited a breakdown in the relationship between itself and Show Management and the Marine Industry association of South Florida (MIASF) as chief among numerous reasons for the collapse of any future deal, describing the pairs proposed lease terms as conditions as, “not even close to being fair and equitable”.

“The economic impact of FLIBS dwarfs a Super Bowl, and it happens year after year – contributing to the sustainability of 136,000 marine industry jobs and $11.5 billion to the economy in the region,” explains Phil Purcell, executive director of the MIASF.

The economic impact study, conducted by Thomas J. Murray & Associates in conjunction with the University of Florida, estimates that during the course of its five-day period, FLIBS contributes $857.3 million to the Floridian economy, with $508.3 million in total sales by FLIBS participants and $380.8 million in estimated sales by Floridian companies.

With the economic benefits of FLIBS plain to see, will TRR Bahia Mar LLC, Show Management and the MIASF be able to circumvent frayed relations for the betterment of the community?

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