Fort Myers Boat Show 2016

I realize this is a very late entry write-up about the Fort Myers Show, but it will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect if you want to go next year. From my area of Tampa Bay it only took about 2 hours to get there, and I got a late start.

First of all, no where could I find an exact address of the parking garage on their website, so I had to drive around a couple blocks just to find it. Once I parked, I walked a few streets over to where the signs pointed to the entrance of the show and got my badge.

I walk into the event center and boats were covered in Christmas bows. I almost forgot my favorite season was here, considering the warm temperatures, but they reminded me it was time to tis the season!

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And then, as I’m walking around the accessories, I look up and see this:

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The Harborside Event Center and City Yacht Basin was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been for a boat show. The interior is old-style and beautiful. Chandeliers hanging down, the antique style windows… it was just gorgeous. The location of the basin was amazing too, as it was right by the park where they have art / statues downtown. This area reminded me a bit of Palm Beach Boat Show because they were right there downtown where I got the chance to walk in some of the shops and got coffee before the show. 

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Here’s a glance at what it looked like outside Harborside by my iPhone’s panoramic view.

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And, a look out on the water —

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I went for the experience of the show. I wanted to go last year but I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and then a few days later I flew out to Kentucky–it just wasn’t the time to drive more to Fort Myers (especially over a 10 day span!). I am really glad I saved it for this year when I couldn’t go to Fort Lauderdale.

Overall — the set up both inside and outside booths and boats — were extremely cluttered. One vendor was on top of another. I read an article on one of the marine industry websites where that show is outgrowing the space. I completely believe it. And agree. However, I hope they don’t move it because it’s a beautiful spot to have a show. There were a ton of people at the show, so a good crowd.

This show (even through being cluttered / crowded) really works for them. In my opinion, it is definitely sandwiched between the Tampa and Suncoast show (they’re in the running as my favorites). A semi-medium capacity if you’re wanting to talk local vs. international. Your normal local dealers with smaller boats all the way up to yachts. Lots of my favorite brands there.

I ran into a product I really admire called the LitterBin. Basically, it’s like a normal gallon plastic bin with their logo and a really hard lid where you can shove trash in there, but if it falls over, the trash can’t fall out. You can buy the lid separately and put it on your own bin the size of the lid. I really hope they do well with this product because it is something we need on boats, out on beaches and the like to save our beaches/oceans&lakes just a little bit more…

After looking at everything, I ended up going across the street to where {my other love in this world} seems to be: theatre/arts. You can read about my adventure to the Florida Repertory Theatre by going here.

 

Last but not least…

Here’s a photo of me with my boat show badge. Whoohoo!

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A trip to Fort Myers for the boat show and a little exploring.

It’s been months since I’ve went out of town and traveled somewhere south, so I am happy I got to go to this show, especially since I missed it last year. The Fort Myers Boat Show has now moved to being one of my favorite shows on a medium capacity. It might actually be my favorite over Tampa or Sarasota. Anyway… since I do have a blog dedicated to boat shows, I’ll keep it short on this one.

BOAT SHOW 

The show is very cluttered, as in boats and product were literally on top of one another with not much space in between, but it works for them. And that’s what is so awesome about the show. It has a different laid back feeling than most of them do. I don’t really know what it is. If I knew what it was, I’d share it.

I love how they decorated for Christmas. They had big red bows on a lot of the boats on the inside, and a Christmas tree from one of the product vendors.

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Inside The Harbourside Event Center

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It looks like someone’s kid kept watching Frozen over and over again, so much that their parents had to name the boat Let It Go… in hopes their kid would let it go! Ha!

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Outside:

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If you’re interested in reading more from me about the show, give it a day or so and check my boatshowgirl.com website.

EXPLORING 

Sooooo… this beaut was hanging in the Harbourside. Instant love. The architecture in this building was amazing, so were the old doors and walls and overall design.

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Outside in the park, lots of metal art:

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As I was walking to the entrance of the boat show, I passed this place. I almost fell over. LOOK HOW OLD IT LOOKS. AMAAAAAAAZING. So amazing that I had to go in it before I left. It’s called “ARCADE – Florida Repertory Theatre.”

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And, it was amazing. The smell when I opened the doors… I can’t tell you. It smelt like the past. It smelled like somewhere I’ve been before, but it couldn’t have been there, it was my first time even knowing about it. So this place had several shops on the right side all the way back and then the theatre was on the left.

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There’s an art store called ART for ACT Gallery and that’s where I took this photo. I am so in love with this store. There was art of every single kind set up in a vintage-gallery-boutique-store. You MUST go and see it! Such an amazing place. And, I really really really really really want this kind of a vanity set up when I have the room.

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On the way back out, I snuck this photo of the theatre where you buy tickets:

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Turns out, I was right about the old. According to this article, it was originally built in 1917 to show moving pictures and silent films then later vaudeville & local acts, magic tricks, and the like. CAN I EXPRESS HOW AWESOME THIS IS?! Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. I felt it. I felt the history….right down to my bones.

And that’s a wrap, kids. Until next time.