WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In just four days, the 35th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show is set to sail back into town.
Organizers have rolled out enhanced safety measures this year, in collaboration with the city of West Palm Beach, so people can gather along Flagler Drive and enjoy the event.
“We’re incredibly excited,” said Andrew Doole, President of Informa Markets U.S. Boat Shows. “We’ve got a Face-mask procedure. We’ll do temperature testing on people as they come in, so we got a cool tent, so we will make sure nobody’s has a temperature. we’ve taken the sides off of the big tents so it’s not an air conditioner pavilion and it’s totally open so the whole show is totally open air."
Visitors can expect to see hand-cleaning and sanitation stations throughout the event space, as well as four entrances and exits to help with the flow of foot traffic and keep social distancing.
Informa Markets U.S. Boat Shows said there will be a wide variety of yachts and accessories, including hundreds of boats ranging from 8-foot inflatables to super yachts nearly 300 feet in length.
"There's some must-see down just behind us, the Valhalla V-46, which is a premier," Doole. "Also, just behind here, the Princess X95, which is a world premiere. So, we've got some incredible boats premiering here at the show that people should be excited to come look at."
Ben Whitte, the Chief Operating Officer of Proof of the Pudding, can not wait for opening day for this year’s boat show!
“How excited are we?! Last year we were at home watching Netflix! Today, look at this! We’re at the Boat Show in West Palm Beach beach! I mean this is paradise. How excited are we, Great Question,” said Whitte.
They are the main food vendor and have been here a week setting up. They also hired around 175 local residents for the event.
“We are offering over 110 different food items this year which is throughout the entire facility. The food court is located right here, right about the 50 yard line or mid ship, as you would say in the shipping business,” said Whitte. “Just come down and enjoy the outdoors. Enjoy the company. Enjoy being back with people.”
The mayor of West Palm Beach said he's pleased to welcome the return of the boat show.
"We applaud the event organizer, Informa Markets, for implementing a COVID-19 mitigation plan in support of public health during these unprecedented times," Mayor Keith James said. "The Palm Beach International Boat Show provides an economic boost to our city and region. We look forward to safely welcoming visitors and residents to our downtown for this legacy event in the city of West Palm Beach."
The show is on Flagler Drive between Banyan Boulevard and Lakeview Drive, bringing in big bucks.
“A Super Bowl and a half. Probably looking at 6 to 700-million dollars to the local economy,” said Doole.
Organizers added the show will offer fun and educational activities, including the AquaZone, an upfront experience with a variety of water sports and innovative products, and children's fishing clinics by Hook the Future.
The Palm Beach International Boat Show starts Thursday and lasts through March 28.
For tickets, visit the website.