FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director, CMTA
HARTFORD BOAT SHOW HIGHLIGHTS HOW RECREATIONAL BOATING MEANS BUSINESS FOR THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Workforce Initiatives for Marine Trades, the Economic Impact and the Business of Boating Among Show Features with Over 400 Boats and Water Craft on Display
ESSEX, CT — DECEMBER 13, 2019 – When the Hartford Boat Show (HBS20) opens at Mohegan Sun January 16-19, 2020, there will be scores of boats to view: over 400 water craft will be featured. But, the story behind what draws upwards of 15,000 visitors to the Show runs deeper than the newest motors, latest boats and shiny technology. In fact, it is that the business of recreational boating and the marine trades means big business for the state of Connecticut.
According to the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA), which produces the Hartford Boat Show, Connecticut’s recreational boating industry has an annual impact of more than $4.1 billion, including manufacturing and supply side. Annual retail sales of new boats, engines, accessories and services account for $171 million, and support 646 businesses across the state, most classified as small business, with many being generational or family owned. There are nearly 95,000 recreational boats registered in the Nutmeg State, with 87% being powerboats, 9% personal watercraft and 4% being sailboats. The state’s marine industry supports a workforce of over 10,000 people whose lives depend upon people buying, storing, servicing and caring for boats throughout the year.
Returning to Mohegan Sun’s Earth Expo Center for the second year, the Hartford Boat Show leads the prominent Northeast winter boat show schedule. Powered by Evinrude/BRP, additional sponsors include Helly Hanson/Landfall, Renewal by Andersen, and KinderCare.
The Hartford Boat Show will feature over 125 exhibitors – with 85% of those being Connecticut based companies. Covering every aspect of recreational boating, visitors will find boats, jet skis, personal watercraft, paddle sports, kayaks, marinas, motors, slip rentals, servicing, fishing gear, educational programs and materials, insurance, trailers, electronics, sanitation, air conditioning, attire, nautical home décor, decking, dock building, winter storage, financing, and shore side activities such as destinations and attractions. Family fun activities will focus on boating safety and marine environmental programs.
Boating means business to Connecticut and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicated that Outdoor Recreation activity is an important contributor to GDP, with the BEA’s 2017 figures noting that nationally, the Outdoor Recreation category contributes 2.2% to the GDP of the U.S., more than even the chemical manufacturing and telecommunications sectors at 2.1%. Boating and Fishing are the largest activities contributing to the Outdoor Recreation sector. In Connecticut, Outdoor Recreation contributes 1.4% to the state’s GDP with Boating and Fishing leading all other activities within the category. “The Outdoor Recreation segment had not previously been included in BEA reporting, so it is important that now the segment as a whole, as well as Boating and Fishing can be quantified as economic drivers,” according to Burns.
The BEA’s figures of 2017 do not take into account the economic impact of Connecticut’s lower sales tax on boats motors and trailers, which went into effect July 1, 2018 at 2.99%. ”We have since seen an over 36% uptick in jobs, and sales of new product versus 2016 are up 8.4 percent, as well as stopped the declining number of registrations – trends that we are optimistic will continue,” said Burns, referring to CMTA surveys, National Marine Manufacturers Association reporting and Connecticut Port Authority statistics. She added that CMTA surveys indicated that 85% of CMTA dealers added full time positions since the tax decrease.
“Our membership of over 340 companies is reflective of the types of small businesses servicing recreational boaters on our lakes, rivers and shoreline. We represent a vast array of marine trades employers, including marinas, boatyards, boat dealers, yacht brokers, service technicians, electronics experts, welders, canvas creators, financial and insurance companies,” according to Kathleen Burns, CMTA Executive Director. She added, that as the CMTA workforce programs assert, “Work is Better on the Water.”
To support the association’s commitment to promoting preserving marine trades positions throughout the state, the Hartford Boat show will feature a Windows to the Future Career Center sponsored by Renewal by Andersen. Friday, January 17 has been designated as Boating Career Day, which will provide an opportunity for students and job-seekers to learn about what careers are available in recreational boating, and meet with members of the industry to discuss the different aspects of the Connecticut boating industry and the types of positions currently open, such as engine technicians/mechanics, sales, riggers/sail, electrical/HVAC/plumbing specialist, carpenters and in management.
Tickets for the Hartford Boat Show may be purchased at www.hartfordboatshow.com. Pre-show online tickets are $13. During The Boat Show, general admission is $15, with children under 12 accompanied by an adult admitted free. A Senior/Military one-day pass is $10. A Two Day Pass allowing access to the show any two days is available at $20. Group sales for groups over 15 people may be arranged by contacting CMTA Show Staff at 860-767-2645.
About The Hartford Boat Show: Now in its 51th year, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS20) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, cruisers, sport and ski boats, sailboats, personal watercraft, paddle boats and boards in addition to fishing gear, marinas and boatyards, other marine services and boating accessories. Produced by the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) the show is open to the public January 16-19, 2020 at the Earth Expo Center at Mohegan Sun, and will feature 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