FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director, CMTA
HARTFORD BOAT SHOW 2018 RECAP: GREAT CROWDS, GREAT SPONSORS AND EXHIBITORS, GREAT SALES
HBS2018 Scores Increased Attendance and Positive Sales Reports
HARTFORD, CT—February 22, 2018 – Celebrating the 49th year of its award winning Hartford Boat Show (HBS2018), the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) was proud to once again host the event February 8 – 11, 2018 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Powered by Evinrude BRP, HBS2018 attendance levels rebounded strongly after last year’s show was hampered by snow and ice.
Attendance was up 33% over 2017, 14% over 2016 and 25% over 2015. Thousands of guests strolled the aisles packed with boats and accessories – including record setting crowds on the Saturday and Sunday of the show. Numerous dealer reports indicated that sales were strong and goals set for HBS2018 had been reached as year-over-year sales jumped. This year’s show was highlighted by special presentations, a nod to the industry’s future and celebration of waterfront enhanced communities.
CMTA Chairman Ron Helbig and HBS18 Committee Chair Phil Gaudreau welcomed an energetic group of members, sponsors and partners to officially cut the ribbon opening the show on Thursday, February 8, dedicated to Winter Olympic TEAM USA, including:
- CMTA Boards of Directors and CMTA Boat Show Committee Members.
- Sponsors: Jess Callabero, Evinrude BRP Presenting Sponsor; Kevin Muffler, Geico; Richard Piscotano, Renewal by Anderson “Windows to the Future: Sponsor; Matthew Barnes, Leaf Filter, Entertainment Sponsor; Melvin Burkey, Shoreside Docks, Paddler’s Paradise Pool Sponsor; Anthony Dipetro, Capitol Equipment and Andy Pye, Summit Handling, Equipment Sponsors. Scott Bates, Chairman, CT Port Authority “Destination CT” sponsor.
- DEEP Guests: Susan Whalen Deputy Commissioner; Michael Lambert, Bureau Chief, Kyle Overturf, Environmental Police.
- State Representative, William Petit, Plainville.
- Stonington First Selectman, Rob Simmons.
- Thompson Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Smith, Teachers, Volunteers and Members of the school district’s Boat Building Program.
Two very special presentations were made during HBS18. The first was made during the opening ceremonies to the Thompson Public Schools Boat Building Program to which CMTA donated $1,000 to the program which was matched by sponsor Renewal by Anderson. Throughout the show, students in the Thompson boat building program worked on one of their projects in the new HBS2018 Windows to the Future area.
On Saturday, Bobby Kolodziej was awarded a $2,500 CMTA Scholarship to be used towards tuition for technical and computer training that he wishes to use to advance a marine career. His parents and grandparents, as well as his employer, Crocker’s Boatyard were on hand for the surprise presentation. The annual CMTA scholarship program provides scholarships to qualified member employees and their family members to further their educational pursuits related to the marine trades industry.
The CMTA was pleased to welcome other groups to HBS18 this year including Hartford-based Our Piece of the Pie (OPP). OPP students volunteered all weekend, assisting with the kids’ boat building activities in the new Windows to the Future are, as well as staffing the show’s complimentary coat check. Exhibiting their wood-work projects, OPP’s big news at HBS2018, was selling their hand-built canoe to a Connecticut based customer. The instructors and staff were ecstatic to sell their project boat that will continue to help fund their important operations to keep kids off the street and focused on building, and other interests.
The CT Port Authority was a new sponsor this year, hosting HBS2018’s Destination CT Pavilion. Showcasing shoreside activities, attractions, and water-enhanced communities, participants in this designated area pronounced by banners highlighting various towns and destinations, included the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, NL Port Authority and Town of Stonington who launched their brand new website at HBS2018.
CMTA was proud to once again award its Best in Booth Displays to a number of exhibiting companies. The judging was done by an independent representative of the show’s advertising agency who spent two days walking the show and assessing each and every booth. And the winners were:
- First Place Best Boat Display – A & S Boats
- Second Place Best Boat Display – Bass Pro/Cabelas
- First Place Best Booth Display – Brewers/Safe Harbor & Yacht Sales
- Second Place Best Booth Display – Three Belles Marina
In 2019, CMTA will mark the 50th anniversary of its boat show. Slated for January 17-21, 2019, it will be held at the new Expo Center at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
About The Hartford Boat Show: Now in its 49th year, the Hartford Boat Show features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, sport and ski boats, sailboats, personal watercraft, paddle boats and boards in addition to fishing gear and tackle, marinas and boatyards, other marine services and boating accessories. Produced by the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) the show was open to the public February 8-11, 2018 at the Connecticut Convention Center, and featured over 125 exhibitors, 400 boats and watercraft, as well as educational seminars, boating personality appearances, and demonstration areas. www.hartfordboatshow.com
About Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA): The CMTA is a not-for-profit trade association representing boating and related marine industries throughout Connecticut, from the Long Island Sound to the state’s rivers and lakes. Founded in 1954, the CMTA has over 330 member businesses and is dedicated to the well-being of the industry by promoting the interests of recreational boating, improving industry condition, monitoring legislative and regulatory issues, and advancing boating education throughout the state. www.ctmarinetrades.org