Dateline, Sunday, March 1st, 2020, Aaron Bessant Park, Panama City Beach, Florida. The annual Emerald Coast Boat and Lifestyle Show had just concluded a weekend with beautiful weather, record-setting attendance, and dealers reporting yet another year of tremendous sales, welcoming new members to their boating families.
Then, less than two weeks later, the world changed, as did boating. Already going through a historic popularity boom on the Emerald Coast, boating saw demand skyrocket as families took to more outdoor activities. This brought additional challenges as manufacturers battled production shutdowns and supply chain issues resulting in an inventory shortage.
But like a ﬁsherman getting back at it after a tough trip, today is like a new day on the water for boating and the Emerald Coast Boat and Lifestyle Show, which returns to its picturesque home venue adjacent to Pier Park on March 3-5, 2023 in Panama City Beach.
The continued growth of new homes and waterfront developments throughout Bay County and the 30A Corridor continues to drive demand for not only boats but also products and services that encompass the ‘Coastal Lifestyle.’
“Even in the past few years when we couldn’t have the show because our dealer and lifestyle partners didn’t have the necessary inventory, we knew once that challenge was resolved, we’d be able to bring the show back,” said Chris Miller of Wheels Up Events which hosts the event.
“This show helped us expand our business from having just one location in Orange Beach to adding a new store in Panama City Beach,” said Chris Bazor of Grander Marine, who also recently opened a third store in Port St. Joe. “So having it back in 2023 will be very impactful once again for our business locally.”
Chuck O’Neill of Legendary Marine of Panama City Beach knows his dealership has always attracted lots of attention at the show in years past. Their very prominent display is ﬁlled with a wide variety of boat models and manufacturers appealing to most anyone in the market for a boat.
O’Neill expects the show in March to be much like past shows. “The demand is certainly here in this market. The show has always allowed us to showcase our boats, connect with new customers or see old friends. The time is right for this show to return!”
In addition to hundreds of boats, the Emerald Coast Boat and Lifestyle Show lives up to its billing with an ever-expanding line-up of products for anyone who loves living or visiting the Emerald Coast. Street-legal golf carts, paddle boards, electric bikes, personal watercraft, ﬁshing tackle and seminars, outdoor furniture, along with service providers for everything from boat maintenance to installing your new dock, will be at Aaron Bessant Park the ﬁrst weekend in March.
For a complete list of exhibitors, more information and to purchase tickets online, visit EmeraldCoastBoatShow.com