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Old 02-27-2009, 01:13 PM
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Default Southwest Virginia Boat Show February 27 – March 01, 2009

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Southwest Virginia Boat Show February 27 – March 01, 2009

Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers Association

Annual Boat Show

New exihibit space expands event’s activities and vendor selection

Visitors to this year’s Southwest Virginia Boat Show Feb. 28-March 1 will have some new “waters” to explore. First, the show will be expanding into a much larger indoor exhibit area.

“With our new exhibit hall open, the boat show can occupy a full 75,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space versus the 30,000 that’s been available in the past,” said Larry Landolt, Executive Director of the Roanoke Convention Center.

“We’re really excited about our first year in the expanded exhibit hall,” said Darrel Ross, chairman of the show, which is organized by the Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers’ Association (SWVBDA). “In the past, the indoor space wasn’t large enough for dealers to display everything they wanted to bring to the show. Some had to use outdoor exhibits for a substantial part of their lineup.” That made it less convenient for those attending the show and more difficult for dealer personnel working the booths. Weather has also sometimes been a problem in the past. Held the tail end of winter to help SML boaters get ready for a full season of fun on the water, previous shows have been subject to the late February/early March chill, wind, even snow.

“Weather should not be an issue this year,” Ross said, grinning. “People can come in, ditch their coats and see everything there is to see without venturing outside.” And there will indeed be more to see.

“The added space lets us expand our horizons beyond boats, motors and boating accessories,” Ross said. “For the first time, there’s good exhibit space for vendors of products and services that complement the lake lifestyle.”

New exhibitors this year will include dock builders, providers of barbeque grills and other outdoor living furnishings and living accessories, casual clothing retailers and landscapers, to name just a few.

“New exhibitors are still claiming their booths, but we’re seeing a strong response from the area’s outdoor living business community,” said Virgil Naff, SWVBDA president. “That means the show will be useful and fun for anyone who’s eager to enjoy summertime at SML to the fullest.”

The increasing popularity of board sports at SML will also be reflected at the show. Several of the participating dealers offer boats designed for towing wake boarders, wake skaters and for the newest craze, wake surfing.

“Most runabouts and deck boats are fine for recreational skiing and teaching the grandkids to ski, kneeboard or wakeboard,” said Rusty Richardson, a competitive-level water slalom skier who specializes in towboats at Webster Marine. “But wakeboarding and wake skating at more than a casual level call for boats designed for the purpose.”

“We hope to make the lower exhibit hall a haven for current and aspiring wake sports enthusiasts, plus parents and grandparents who want to learn how to safely enable the passions of the youngsters in their lives,” show chairman Ross added. The show will be open

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