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Minneapolis Boat Show Outpaces Pre-Covid Sales

The 2024 Discover Boating Minneapolis Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive Insurance, reported strong crowds during its four-day run, attracting more than 25,000 attendees. Overall, feedback from exhibitors was positive, with several reporting solid sales and leads from the show, particularly among entry-level buyers.

“We outpaced pre-COVID sales and are satisfied with the results of this year’s boat show following a record 2023 selling year,” noted John Wooden, President, River Valley Marine.  “We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of entry level price point buyers. We look forward to returning in 2025.”

Attendance at national boat shows provides perspectives on future boat sales and, in turn, the need for boat storage facilities to keep them protected when not in the water. Sales of boats surged during the pandemic. Although the nation saw a dip in sales following Covid-19, it is believed that it was due to supply chain issues, and boat purchases are expected to bounce back in 2024.

“Hannay’s had a good 2024 Minneapolis Boat Show, with sales up across our aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass fishing boats, and pontoons,” said Tom Ferdinandt of Hannay’s Marine.

“We were happy to see the crowds return and bring business to our exhibitors,” said Darren Envall, Vice President, Discover Boating Midwest Shows. “Determined boat buyers came ready to shop and talk with dealers, and our marine accessories and equipment exhibitors are reporting a successful show, with many boat owners who entered the market recently coming to the boat show to outfit their boating lifestyle.”

The sold out Minneapolis Boat Show featured more boats, more brands and a showcase of the latest marine industry innovations, including the 2024 Minneapolis Innovation Award winners, which were announced during the Sneak Peek night, an annual preview that yielded strong attendance and ignited boat sales to kickstart the show.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes oasis returned featuring daily live music, local bites and beverages, plus the popular Antique & Classic Boat Display, and “boating 101” courses at the Fred’s Shed How-To Center, presented by Progressive.

The boat show also hosted a Coat Drive on opening day, sponsored by the Select Minneapolis GMC Dealers, benefiting local charity Joseph’s Coat Minnesota. The Coat Drive collected 80 coats in its inaugural year.

The show’s Discover Boating Boat Finder attracted nearly 10,000 people to the site, resulting in approx. 345,000 boat card views – tripling views compared to 2023.

For more information and to exhibit in 2025, visit MinneapolisBoatShow.com.

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