BONITA SPRINGS, FLA — The 34th annual Bonita Springs Boat Show is in full swing just five months after thousands of boats were destroyed by Hurricane Ian.
Organizers for the Bonita Springs Boat show say there will be about 35% more boats at this year's show than compared to last year. With hundreds of boats ranging from $10,000 to more than one million dollars.
Jarrod Bishop is the Sales Manager of Bonita Boat Center, and he says he's excited about this year's show and to help more people get back on the water.
"As soon as the hurricane happened our owners jumped right into recovery mode and we are out recovering boats for customers and helping them with their insurance claims. We’re still dealing with some of that now but we’ve got a great staff and we’re getting people in new boats and out of the boats that have been damaged," said Bishop.
Fox4 has been covering the process extensively when it comes to the recovery of our area from Hurricane Ian including all the devastation to many of these boats that people say they've spent decades saving up for.
Organizers say since Hurricane Ian the turnout even in January for the Fort Myers Boat Show had record-setting numbers. Boat Show Manager Kyle Good explains it's taken time for people to figure out those insurance claims since Hurricane Ian.
"I’ve talked to a lot of the dealers in southwest Florida most of the boat claims have been paid out so the excitement is pretty strong and we think we’re gonna have a great show this week," says Good. "The debris for the most part is out of the water, and the waterways are mostly open and people are out there enjoying themselves."
The economy helps the economy here in Southwest Florida.
"It’s just a boating mecca it provides a lot of jobs that fuel our economy here in southwest Florida so at the show we have 3 to 400 boats on display representing 900 manufacturers that represents a lot of jobs," said Bishop.
"The more boats that we see on the water and getting people back in the normal group it’s just so exciting for Southwest Florida," said Good.
The Bonita Springs Boat Show goes until Sunday. Tickets are $10.
To purchase tickets visit https://goboatingflorida.com/boating-shows/2023-bonita-springs-boat-show/