The 75th Miami International Boat Show is over, but we’ll be enjoying the experiences, connections, and memories from the show for years to come. This year’s show, which took place February 11-15, marked the 50th year Frigibar took part in the event as an exhibitor. According to the Miami Herald, over 1,200 new boats were on display and over 100,000 attendees were expected for the five-day show.
Frigibar was in Booth 554 in Tent C, right next to Brownie’s Yacht Diver. “They were great booth neighbors and brought a crowd to the area,” said Oletzky.
On the Friday of the show, the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team stopped by the Frigibar booth to host a small reception to raise money for their charity, Southern Fishing Charities. What was planned to be an hour and a half gathering lasted over three hours and turned into a highlight of the show for many. The reception received a surprise visit from NMMA President Thom Dammrich, Outdoor Channel reality star Carter Andrews of The Obsession of Carter Andrews, and many others. The event raised $500 for the charity and was something exhibitors and attendees talked about for days afterward.
The booth also got a visit from the red-hot Liquid Fire Fishing Team. The team was recently named the sports story of the year by the Tideland News. Read more about Liquid Fire and their great team in our interview with team captain Mark Henderson.
“This was a spectacular event, and we’re glad we were able to be a part of it. It’s hard to imagine all of the hard work that was done behind the scenes to pull this off just 16 months after it was first announced that the event would be coming to Miami Marine Stadium,” said Oletzky. The stadium was last used in 1992 and was renovated to bring the Miami Boat Show to the venue for its first event in over 20 years.
The venue did not disappoint. “My favorite aspect of this year’s show is that we were actually on the water! It felt like a real Florida boat show where everyone could enjoy the beautiful views of the beach, and the boats were in the water. It was something missing from previous shows and it added a special element to this year’s show,” said Oletzky.
There were many other firsts experienced by attendees and exhibitors at this year’s show. Organizers invested in free land and water shuttle services for attendees and there were over 10,000 available parking spaces. “There was a relaxed feel to the whole event even with it being so busy. The show was easy to navigate, there were tons of food options, and the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) staff was working directly with exhibitors and attendees to quickly help when any help was needed. The show got better each day,” said Oletzky.
During a pre-event interview on AM 880 The Biz, which aired Tuesday, February 9, Cathy Rick-Joule, NMMA Vice President of the Miami Boat Show said, “We believe we’ve found the future home of the boat show for many, many, many years to come at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.” We’re excited to see how the show takes advantage of the great space and location Miami Marine Stadium provides.
NMMA Vice President Cathy Rick-Joule announced her retirement at the show. “Cathy means so much to me and is the reason I’m so involved in the show. She’s caring and thoughtful, and really helped in my transition to President of Frigibar and making sure our family-owned business would still be involved in the Miami Show, there are no words to express my gratitude for her guidance and friendship over the years.” said Oletzky. Rick-Joule will provide guidance in a consulting role to ensure a smooth transition going forward. Frigibar would like to thank Rick-Joule for her support and amazing work with the NMMA and Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.
Next up, Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky will be visiting the 31st Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show (March 17-20). After exhibiting for the five-day Miami show, Shuly will be able to speak with exhibitors and attendees at the show as an attendee herself. “The Palm Beach Show is such a fun show and will be a great time. It’s always great to exhibit at a show, but this will be a refreshing opportunity to get out from behind the booth and network with all of the exhibitors and see the whole show,” said Oletzky.
“If you didn’t get a chance to come this year, come next year (to the Miami Beach International Boat Show). It’s only going to get better,” said Oletzky to end our post-event interview. Dates for the 2017 Miami International Boat Show have not yet been released. Follow the show on Facebook for updates and news.
Frigibar Industries, Inc. is one of the longest established manufacturers of marine refrigeration. Frigibar was started in 1971 by Founder and President Sheldon Oletzky, a twenty-one year veteran of the United States Navy and experienced aerospace engineer. In 2011, Sheldon’s daughter Shuly Oletzky took on the role of CEO and President of Frigibar and strives to grow the company’s legacy of providing the best in marine refrigeration. These freezers have taken on a secondary meaning; on-deck fiberglass freezers are referred to by boat builders and owners worldwide as Frigibars. Frigibar provides hand-crafted, marine refrigeration systems of the highest quality.