Miami Yacht Show’s new location aims for fewer headaches

This year, one of the worldís most prestigious yacht shows has found a new home. The 31st annual Miami Yacht Show takes place in downtown Miami at One Herald Plaza, Feb. 14-18.

The show, spanning the MacArthur and Venetian causeways on Biscayne Bay, including Sea Isle Marina, is closer to the showís Super Yacht Miami at Island Gardens on Watson Island. The show will run the same weekend as Art Wynwood as well as the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, which is held at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key.

The Miami Yacht Show moved from Miami Beach, where it had been previously. The new site is next to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

The show’s new venue will offer better transportation and parking availability, says Andrew Doole, general manager and vice president of Informa, which co-owns the show along with the International Yacht Brokers Association. Doole says the Miami Yacht Show’s proximity to the Miami International Boat show will be great for both events and attendees. “The synergy has always worked well between both shows,” he says. “We’re trying hard to promote both shows through a joint marketing campaign.”

Doole says the new site will offer more than 3,500 parking spaces within walking distance and is only minutes from Interstate 95. Public transportation will provide access traveling from Broward and Palm Beach counties. “Brightline is only two stops away on the Metro Mover,” he adds, noting the half-mile distance also is walkable for many people. “A lot of our exhibitors will be using Brightline,” he says.

The new location will afford improved customer experiences. “We can do tents on land,” he says. Space was tight for visitors and exhibitors at the previous Indian Creek location, on Miami Beach. Doole says parking was limited and difficult in the past. “People could never park at the beach,” he says. Plus, traffic was slow and often backed up on Collins Avenue.

Water taxi service will connect the event to Super Yacht Miami at Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina, as well as the Miami International Boat Show. The Deep Harbour site accommodates vessels up to 400 feet.

Doole says this year’s event will feature some impressive yachts, including the Spectre, dubbed the “queen” of the show. The 227-foot super yacht was custom-built by Italian manufacturer Benetti for auto magnate John Staluppi and his wife, Jeanette. If the ship’s moniker sounds familiar, that’s because Spectre is the criminal organization in many James Bond movies. Agent 007 is no stranger to the Staluppis; Spectre is the ninth Bond-inspired vessel they’ve commissioned, and the third by Benetti in less than a decade. It follows their 197-foot Diamonds are Forever.

Why the Staluppis’ obsession with the fictional British spy? “James Bond always was on the leading edge of gadgets and autos,” says Nick Bischoff, country manager for Benetti Americas, “and the same thing with John Staluppi. He’s always pushing for the latest and greatest, and the best materials.”

Bischoff says Spectre was delivered to the Staluppis in November, and they agreed to let Benetti use it for the show. “John Staluppi is one of the most experienced yacht owners,” Bischoff says. “He was involved with the design. His yachts are typically fast yachts. In the past, one of his yachts could go to 70 knots. This boat cruises at 20 knots.”

Renowned naval architect Frank Mulder was instrumental in designing Spectre, Bischoff says. Mulder added special stabilizers to prevent it from pitching or rolling in rough seas. “It was designed for the many people who get seasick,” he says. “They help smooth out the ride.”

Spectre is valued at 65 million euros, or approximately $80 million. Bischoff says it will be at the show for viewing, but strictly by appointment only. “The ship is very luxurious,” he says. “You feel like you’re in a Gatsby-era type home.”

Bischoff expects Staluppi to appear at the show.

Show organizers expect the event to attract a global audience of more than 29,000 visitors, generating an estimated $486 million for the economy. “The Miami Yacht Show has become much more of an International show,” Bischoff says. Miami brings in a more International clientele. We want to cater more to this higher-end clientele.

If You Go

• Where:
One Herald Plaza, Miami.

• When: Thursday, Feb. 14, through Monday, Feb. 18; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. first four days, until 5 p.m. on final day.

• Admission: Preview, Feb. 14, $43; combination ticket with Miami Boat Show, $83. General admission is free for children 12-under, $28 for 13-up; combination ticket with boat show is $53. VIP tickets are $200.

• Information:

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