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Friday, February 13, 2009

Lazy's Key Economic Index

Yea I know - this is not news to anyone with a brain.

I went to the boating safety booth at the Miami International Boat Show today. The Miami show is one of the largest, if not THE largest, boat show in the world. If it is not the largest than the Fort Lauderdale show is, making Miami the second largest. Fort Lauderdale is just to the north by the way. Maybe 20 - 30 miles.

Anyhow, Thursday was the preview day. The day when admission is higher, and boat dealers invite people who have either already made deposits or who bought boats in previous years to come look at the new lineup. In years past, a lot of sales are made on preview day. If you pay the extra admission charge (almost twice as much) then it usually means you are a buyer.

Well, I have some really bad news.

The convention center - the largest venue at the show - was a GHOST TOWN. Seriously. There were tumble weeds and stereotypical cowboys pacing around with 6-guns saying "this town ain't big enough fer the two of us" and shit.

Empty. Dead. Nobody. No action.

At times, it seemed like more people were there with exhibitor tags than there were people without them.

I did not notice ANYONE sitting in the special chairs, getting free wine or champagne, and signing papers.

I think that a lot of dealers are going all in for the Miami show. If they do not sell something, it could be over for some of the dealers.

This is bad. The marine industry is a luxury industry, and luxury goods do take a hit if the economic winds are not fair, but boat people also have some serious coin. In years past selling a $200,000 boat was routine. Not a big deal.

Well, I do not think there will be much of that going on. People with $200k to spend on a boat are just not spending. Nobody's job is really safe. People know this.

I will be back at the convention center Saturday. I hope there is a LOT more foot traffic. Because preview day was a bust. For the sake of people whose jobs depend on marine sales - and there are a lot of those jobs - there needs to be some activity.

But with no credit, scared buyers, economic uncertainty, job insecurity, and tanking investments - if I were in marine sales I would be desperately looking for alternative work. Or at least making sure my employer is paying into the unemployment fund so that I can claim benefits.

As if unemployment compensation can be called a "benefit". You are still out a fucking job. Sure the money helps - but you know it will run out. And you know it is only a percentage of what you were getting. And you know that other jobs are hard to find. And you know that if you do find another job, it may pay less than what you are used to.

Some "benefit" huh??

More bad news is on the way. I can feel it.


Blogger Fuzz said...

I guess I'll just keep my old beat-up canoe.

Blogger Dusty said... was dead eh? Not a good sign for the industry.

Blogger Lily Strange said...

Yeah, that doesn't bode well.

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