Broward County Commission Approves Permission for FLIBS

The Broward County Commission on Thursday voted in favour of allowing the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show to proceed

The 61st Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) has been given the green light to proceed after the Broward County Commission voted on Thursday in favour of allowing the event to run in spite of lingering concerns over the potential spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Commission heard from a number of delegations including representatives from the hospitality industry, the local marine industry and health care professionals who offered unanimous support for the show plan submitted in July by organiser Informa Markets, which conforms to local, national and international guidelines related to Covid-10. Those measures include the mandatory use of face masks, the implementation of screening measures such as temperature checks upon venue entry, and the mandatory adherence to deep cleaning protocols before, during and after each day’s events with overnight disinfections. Informa released a “Know Before You Go” safety video in August outlining its protocols for this year’s event.

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said the decision to allow the show to proceed was a difficult one requiring balance between health concerns and economic objectives. “We’ve done well so far, we’ve just had a holiday weekend pass and we’ve seen no spike from that,” he said. “We have to move cautiously, but it is important for us to balance the health concern with the livelihood of the people of Broward County. On that basis I support moving forward with this.”

Scheduled to run from October 28 to November 1, FLIBS draws an estimated 100,000 exhibitors and attendees each year and is reported to generate US$1.3 bn in economic activity across the state of Florida. According to a report released earlier this year, 61% of FLIBS participants travel to Fort Lauderdale from outside the region. A reported 49% of show participants visit the area from outside Florida, and 10% from outside the US.

City of Fort Lauderdale city manager Chris Lagerbloom was supportive of Informa’s efforts to satisfy health concerns related to the show. “Informa has put a lot of thought, effort and time into putting together a workable plan that satisfies the needs of the City of Fort Lauderdale from a safety perspective,” he said. “We are committed to ensuring that everything in that plan actually happens so we can have a safe and successful event.”

Article Author: Wanda Kenton Smith