Doubt has been cast over the health of Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show’s (FLIBS) future following TRR Bahia Mar LLC (TBML), the owner and operator of Bahia Mar, withdrawing its proposal for the redevelopment of Bahia Mar Hotel and Marina. In a letter to a number of Fort Lauderdale’s prominent legislators, including the mayor and vice mayor, Jimmy Tate, partner at TBML, explained why the decision had been made to withdraw the planning application.

“Certain parties with whom we have to transact over the past two years seemed to have forgotten that we too have a seat at the negotiating table and, therefore, are entitled to be treated with the same level of fairness that we displayed throughout the negotiation process,” wrote Tate.

It is understood that chief among the reasons for removing the application were vocal opposition from members of the community, through which Tate describes experiencing “ugliness” and “hatred”, and a failure to agree terms with the Marine Industry Association of South Florida (MIASF), which owns FLIBS, and Show Management, which runs FLIBS, about FLIBS’ lease.

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

“The proposed lease terms and conditions being demanded by Show Management and the Marine Industry Association of South Florida are not even close to being fair and equitable,” explained Tate.

As it stands, FLIBS’ current lease will only allow it to continue the show at Bahia Mar until 2020. The breakdown of the relationship between TBML and FLIBS’ controlling entities has led many to speculate that an extension of the lease may prove troublesome. But with five years left on the leasing agreement, there is still ample time for both parties to reach an agreement.

In a joint statement Efrem Zimbalist III, president of Show Management Florida, and Phil Purcell, executive director of the MIASF, announced that they had, “entered into a 30-year agreement [with each other] to help ensure the show’s future.”

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