THE BUSINESS OF RECREATIONAL BOATING IN CONNECTICUT IS OPENING DAY FOCUS OF HARTFORD BOAT SHOW
January 28‐31 2016 Event Highlights the Economic, Small Business and Workforce Contributions of Marine Trades in the State
ESSEX, CT – DECEMBER 29, 2015 – The economic impact of the business of recreational boating in Connecticut will be the focus of the opening day program at the Hartford Boat Show, January 28, 2016. Powered by Evinrude, The Hartford Boat Show will run January 28‐31 at the Connecticut Convention Center, and will feature over 250 boats and exhibitors representing every aspect of boating in Connecticut’s sound, lake and river communities.
Produced by the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA), opening day events will be highlighted by the CMTA’s annual Sponsorship Award Ceremony and Scholarship Presentation, as well as a career opportunity fair, author book signings, paddle sport demonstrations in the Paddler’s Paradise Demo Pool, and a slate of seminars.
According to the CMTA, annual retail sales of new boats, engines, accessories and services account for over $136 million in Connecticut, and support 537 businesses across the state. It is estimated that there are 101,887 recreational boats in the Nutmeg State, with 85% being powerboats, 10% personal watercraft and 5% being sailboats.
“The business of boating in Connecticut supports a workforce of 7,500 employees whose lives depend upon people buying, storing, servicing and caring for boats throughout the state,” cites Kathleen Burns, Executive Director, CMTA. “This is not just a high‐end boat or sound‐dominated business as many would think, but one which flourishes in all corners of Connecticut,” she continues.
The over 125 exhibitors at The Hartford Boat Show will represent every type of business involved in recreational boating, including boats, jet skis, personal watercraft, paddle sports, kayaks, marinas, motors, slip rentals, servicing, fishing gear and tackle, educational programs and materials, insurance, trailers, electronics, sanitation, air conditioning, real estate, attire, nautical home décor, decking, dock building, winter storage, and financing. According to Burns, the 2016 exhibitors represent the largest expansion in the diversity of products in the Show’s 47 year history.
“The marine trades business in Connecticut is a segment which has not gone ‘big box’,” says Burns. “The mainstay of the whole industry is small businesses that are largely based in working waterfronts that anchor and distinctively characterize our small communities. About 95% of our exhibitors are classified as small business, many are family owned and even generational, with 94 being Connecticut based,” she continues.
Hartford Boat Show opening day activities begin at 3:30 pm with the sponsorship and scholarship presentations and ribbon cutting ceremony. Exhibit hall hours are 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The Sponsorship Award Ceremony will acknowledge Hartford Boat Show sponsors Evinrude, CT Buick GMC, Helly Hansen and NBC Connecticut, as well as supporters of the annual CMTA Golf Tournament which enables the scholarship program. Golf tournament sponsors included Starkweather & Shepley and the Connecticut Convention Center.
Now in its fifth year, the CMTA Scholarship Program annually awards scholarships to qualified member employees and their family member to further their educational pursuits related to the marine trades industry.
A Career Opportunity Fair will run 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm featuring employment opportunities available in Connecticut’s recreational boating businesses.
In the authors Boat Book Nook booth, Paul Krantz, writer of “Riding the Wild Ocean” will appear. January 28 educational sessions include “Skipper Saver” presented by the Hartford Power Squadron, “Basic Maintenance by Port Niantic and “Ask a Captain” featuring United States Coast Guard Certified Master Captain and sport fisherman, TJ Karbowski.
The Hartford Boat Show will be open Thursday, January 28, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Friday, January 29, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Saturday, January 30, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; and Sunday, January 31, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visit www.hartfordboatshow.com for additional information and special event schedule.
Ticket sales are now open and may be purchased at www.hartfordboatshow.com. Pre‐show online tickets are $10, a new $18 Dual Day Pass has been introduced which will allow access to the show any two days, and a Senior Skip’rs Day pass for Friday, January 29 for admission 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm for those over 60 is also available at $8. During The Boat Show, general admission will be $12, with children under 12 admitted free.
About The Hartford Boat Show: Now in its 47th 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 is open to the public January 28‐31, 2016 at the Connecticut Convention Center, and will feature over 125 exhibitors, 250 boats and watercraft, as well as educational seminars 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 300 member businesses and is dedicated to the well‐being of the industry by promoting the interests of recreational boating, improving industry conditions, monitoring legislative and regulatory issues, and advancing boating education throughout the state. www.boatct.com.
(Editor’s Note: Past Show photos, sponsor logos and background materials available upon request. Kathleen Burns is available for interview. For additional information, contact Diane Greco at 914‐666‐4150 or firstname.lastname@example.org)