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Fort Lauderdale gears up for boat show

A fleet of yachts.

Steve Chiotakis: Today's the first day of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. There are $3 billion worth of giant boats and accessories on display at the South Florida show right now. Organizers expect tens of thousands to check out all the tricked out yachts.

From station WLRN in Miami, Kenny Malone reports.


Kenny Malone: Andrew Doole is a lead organizer for the boat show. He's reluctant to call this an out-and-out "yacht show."

Andrew Doole: We have a cross-section of boats that range form dinghies to $60, $80 million yachts.

But he'll also admit the big boats -- with fireplaces, libraries, and helicopter landing pads -- are the big draw.

Doole: From the engines that go in the boat to gold-plated bathroom fixtures, there's really everything you'd need for a super-yacht.

Yachts have an $18 billion ripple effect on Florida's economy.

Nicki Grossman heads up the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Malone: Can you tell when it's boat show time? I mean do you see a lot more navy blue blazers or like dock-sider shoes?

Nicki Grossman: Well, these are people who are fit and they're tan and they look like they're here for a good time. And they certainly are, but they bring a great wealth of fun and excitement and -- quite frankly -- money!

Grossman says that by just hosting that wave of yacht-lovers, Fort Lauderdale gets its own $400 million economic ripple effect.

I'm Kenny Malone for Marketplace.

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