Boat show and film fest bring in money and interest to Palm Beach County

Tourism numbers show signs of growth

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - According to the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, events like the annual Palm Beach Boat Show bring upwards of 50,000 visitors each year, filling more than 14,000 Palm Beach County hotel rooms as well.

Those numbers are expected to increase this year.

"The show is up in volume so we've got more boats, more exhibit space sold. There's an upbeat in the marine industry, people are looking forward to the show," said Andrew Doole, the Senior Vice President and COO of Show Management, the Boat Show's sponsors.

A quick drive south to the Palm Beach International Film Festival, shows the power large scale community events can have on a local economy.

Over 700 students from schools across Florida, and their families, spend the week spending money in Palm Beach County.

"For us to be able to bring these future filmmakers right here, it's our time to shine and to show what Palm Beach County has to offer," said Michelle Hillery, the Director of Operations and Programs for the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission.

One local legend offers a very real reason for why local events and the arts will always thrive.

"In a bad economy, people want to go to movies and forget their troubles. They want to go to the theater. The magic of theater thrives," said Burt Reynolds, an Oscar-nominated Actor and Palm Beach County resident.

So whether it's bringing filmmakers to town, or bringing boats to the waterfront tourism in Palm Beach County is on the upswing, which can only mean good things for the local economy.

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