Annual Boat Show Wraps Up In Duluth With Impressive Attendance

By KBJR News 1

February 21, 2011 Updated Feb 21, 2011 at 12:41 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Unlike the Elton John concert, it's easy to get tickets for the annual boat show at the DECC and thousands stopped by this year's get together.

As Dave Anderson explains, this year's turn out was up which has some people thinking the economy must be improving.

Dog show? No, it's the boat show but this display of hunting dogs sure pulled in the kids.

A lot of grown ups, though, heard the siren's song of the brand new boats at the Duluth Boat, Sport, Travel and RV Show.

Show organizer Mike Murphy of Shamrock Productions says the turn out was way up this year.

"The show went very well. The response was overwhelming."

The overwhelming crowd spent the weekend crowding outdoors writer Sam Cook of the Duluth News Tribune.

They also spilled over to Brian Anderson's booth where he talked about what's available at Fortune Bay.

All the action tuckered out this half albino raccoon.

Those who bought boats at the show were encouraged by the Coast Guard to use them safely.

"Pick up the regs from us and make sure you have everything on the boat you need and just be safe out there. Use your head."

Those with new boats could also consider using their new toys for a career.
Rudy Beshensky of the American Professional Captains Association says the need for licensed boat operators will increase dramatically very soon.

"You search the internet and a lot of the tow boat captains have reached that age that they're going to call it quits and there aren't enough captains to take their places."

Beshensky feels that's a sign of an improving job market.
Scott Van Valkenberg of Fisherman's Corner thinks the large crowd is a sign of an improving economy.

"I think it's coming around the horn. I think folks are loosening up a little and have better hopes for jobs."

Around six o'clock, the show ended and all that was left to do was back several hundred boats out of the DECC into the hands of new owners or back to the store for the next go around.
That could happen very soon.

"We'll be back in town for the Arrowhead Home and Builder's Show and Jack Link Home Away From Home Show in the new Amsoil Arena April 6 to 10."

This was the 45th boat show at the DECC and Shamrock Productions attendance figure indicate only one other similar show in Minnesota pulls in more people.