GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Grand Rapids Boat Show brings dozens of dealers together under one roof to showcase their latest products, accessories and services to our area.
The event is Wednesday to Sunday at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for children 6-14, and free for children 5 and under.
You can also take a navigational charting class at the event. There will be computers set up so you can renew your boating license with the Secretary of State. On Saturday, you can take a boaters safety course with the Kent County Sheriff's Department. There is also a live shark tank.
2012 was a comeback year for the boating industry. Boat sales increased last year and are expected to make an even bigger splash this year. Many believe the spike in sales is due to the creation of different types of 15- to 26-foot boats that appeal to different lifestyles and budgets.
There was an estimated 10% increase for new powerboat sales in the U.S., according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
In Michigan, that number was even higher, with a more than 20% increase, bringing in $549 million.
Now, it is believed the industry will see sales increase by an additional 5-10% in 2013.
Those numbers land Michigan in the No. 3 spot nationally for new powerboat motor, trailer and accessory sales.
In Grand Rapids alone, sales increased 22% last year. This is actually the first time sales have increased since 2006.
Michigan ranks as one of the top states in the nation in registered watercrafts.
So what does this all mean for us?
Recreational boating alone brings $3.9 billion in economic impact to our state, and between 30-50% of boat sales happen or start at shows like the one in Grand Rapids.
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