46th Annual Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel and RV Show

By KBJR News 1

February 17, 2012 Updated Feb 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Friday marked day three of the five–day Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel and RV Show, and already thousands of attendees from across the Midwest and Canada have traveled to the DECC in droves.

"Everything that we project will either run a record, or come very close to a record," said Ron Murphy—of Shamrock Productions, who produces the national circuit event.

While very few people will leave the 46th annual Boat and RV Show empty handed, Murphy said the main goal is to educate: "Those gentlemen are down here to explain the product to you. They're not here to sell it to you. If you want to buy it great, if you don't, don't! They're here to tell you why they think their product is the best, and that puts you in a great position as a consumer."

Another goal: keep the event fresh each year with new and interactive exhibits, Like the Aussie Kingdom—which allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of Australia's most beloved animals from down under.

"We have a large variety of kangaroos. People get a chance to see several different species of kangaroos. You can get your picture taken holding one of the babies for a small fee," said Aussie Kingdom owner Carolyn Lantz.

The Boat Show isn't all about the latest and greatest outdoor gear, as many also come to gain insight on hot vacation spots.
While the nation still struggles with a slowly–recovering economy, Dick Garvey—of scenic Rainy Lake's Northernaire Houseboats—said he remains hopeful that attendees will seek out the perfect getaway.

"I think we're starting to come out of the depression, and I think we're over the curve now. They're asking a lot of the right questions, and we think it's going to be a very good show," said Garvey.

Regardless, there's no denying the significance of the economic impact the Boat Show has on the Northland, as sales numbers from previous years—when combined with hotel and restaurant figures—put the total fresh–cash–insertion into the area at an average of $25 million in the 5 days the event runs.

"It can certainly exceed that. I'd seriously doubt that it does anything less than that," said Murphy.

...no small catch for the Northland's economy.

Purchasing a ticket for the 46th Annual Boat Show will also gain attendees access to the Northland Outdoors Duluth Deer Classic—held in conjunction with the event for the third consecutive year.