New yacht-show owners stepping up marketing

As if Newport won’t be bustling enough this coming summer with the America’s Cup World Series in June and the Tall Ships in July, the Newport Charter Yacht Show will attract its own unique group of sailing specialists to the City by the Sea. More

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FOCUS: THE SEA & THE ECONOMY

New yacht-show owners stepping up marketing

COURTESY MEDIA PRO INTERNATIONAL/BILLY BLACK HOME AT SEA: The lavish on-deck living spaces onboard Lia Fail exemplify those on super yachts featured at the charter show in Newport.
Posted 12/26/11

As if Newport won’t be bustling enough this coming summer with the America’s Cup World Series in June and the Tall Ships in July, the Newport Charter Yacht Show will attract its own unique group of sailing specialists to the City by the Sea.

The five-day charter show run by the Newport Harbor Corp. June 18-22 is one of the few like it in the world. Geared to charter-yacht brokers rather than the general public, it is the largest show of its kind on the East Coast and the only one in New England, organizers say. The show features luxury super yachts from 80 to 275 feet long.

The NHC, perhaps best known as the owner and operator of high-end restaurants such as Hemenway’s in Providence and The Mooring in Newport, acquired the assets of the charter show from Newport Yacht Management Company in October for an undisclosed sum.

Tom DeLotto, director of the Newport Exhibition Group that remains in charge of the show under Newport Harbor, pointed out that the harbor group’s business interests extend beyond eateries. It is involved in various marine-related activities, he said, including ownership of the Newport Yachting Center where the charter show will be held, as it has for the last three years.

The harbor group chose to acquire the charter show because the event fills a “significant vacuum” or niche in the New England marine world, DeLotto said. “This is the only large charter-yacht show on the East Coast and in New England,” he added, citing similar shows in Antigua in the Caribbean and Genoa, Italy, in the Mediterranean.

Selling yachts is not the goal of the show.

“There may be a sale here or there, but that is not what we are all about. Our platform is the charter business,” DeLotto said, explaining private brokers will check out the new offerings with an eye toward finding the right choices for clients chartering yachts for a limited time. “This is not a normal show for the public,” he added. “The only members of the public to be there might be clients invited by a broker.”

The NHC has the resources, DeLotto noted, to expand certain aspects of the show such as a seminar series held at the same time and various social engagements intended to ease networking of brokers and yacht dealers.

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