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Shapiro Calls Gov. Cuomo’s Change in Boat Show Dates ‘Illogical’ and an ‘Intrusion of Politics’


New York, NY – Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, wrote a column in Forbes that blasts Gov. Cuomo’s sudden granting of new dates for the New York Boat Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Shapiro, a contributor to the influential business magazine, wrote August 14 that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s move to help out the state’s boating industry instead amounted to “an unprecedented intrusion of politics into the business deals of other industries relying on New York.”

“It defies common sense, trust and the Golden Rule,” wrote Shapiro, who produces the International Consumer Electronics Show.

“Moving the annual boat show will damage New York’s relationship with trade shows, hurting the city and state in both the short and long run,” Shapiro said. “New York City stands to lose hotel, restaurant and transportation revenue as well as significant tax revenue if the displaced trade events take their business elsewhere.”

Shapiro said Javits Center and the trade show industry had gotten along very well with the current booking policy, which reserves the best dates for the events that generate the most revenue for the city. He pointed out the center stuck to its trade show commitments when the temptation to hold the NFL Experience, was looming large. The dates had already been earmarked by Javits for two trade shows.

Giving the Boat Show better mid-January dates starting in 2015 has been portrayed as a helping hand to New York’s $5.8 billion boating industry. But Shapiro expressed his doubts, saying the show was already taking on water in the form of a 30% drop in attendance over the last three years.

Shapiro also contended that the boat show’s target audience was too small to give much of a lift to the overall boating industry, as Cuomo had hoped. Many of the boaters who lost their vessels in Superstorm Sandy would probably not be in the market for a new boat for financial reasons, he said.

“Sales from the boat show will not be able to make up for the damage caused by kicking out more-lucrative trade visitors from other industries,” Shapiro said.

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