Lovers Key Boat Show brings out a crowd – Fort Myers Beach Talk

lovers-key-boat-show-brings-out-a-crowd-–-fort-myers-beach-talk

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By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Feb 3, 2021

Bob Snyder, of Maine and Fort Myers Beach, checks out a boat Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan MaybergBob Gutierrez, owner of The Boat Place on San Carlos Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach, sold this 2021 Cape Horn 36XS, heavy-duty offshore fishing boat while setting up at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan Mayberghis Carolina Skiff boat was one of the more brightly colored boats for sale at the Lovers Key Boat Show. Photo by Nathan MaybergThe sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergAndy and Brandy Rumph of Cape Coral and Indiana, check out a Sea Fox boat Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan MaybergCincinnati's Pamela Taylor picks up some coconut fried shrimp Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan MaybergMarina Mike's of Fort Myers reported selling these two boats within a half-hour span on the opening morning of the Lover's Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest on Friday. / Photo by Nathan MaybergAndy and Brandy Rumph of Cape Coral and Indiana, check out a Sea Fox boat Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe Fort Myers Alpha Romeo dealership was represented at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe seafood at Bailey's Concession was a major attraction at theThe sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe chicken was popular at Bailey's Concession at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe Fort Myers Alpha Romeo dealership was represented at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan MaybergThe Fort Myers Alpha Romeo dealership was represented at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

This Bennington QX was one of the top boats for sale from Marina Mike’s at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest this past weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Bob Snyder, of Maine and Fort Myers Beach, checks out a boat Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Bob Gutierrez, owner of The Boat Place on San Carlos Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach, sold this 2021 Cape Horn 36XS, heavy-duty offshore fishing boat while setting up at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

his Carolina Skiff boat was one of the more brightly colored boats for sale at the Lovers Key Boat Show. Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Andy and Brandy Rumph of Cape Coral and Indiana, check out a Sea Fox boat Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Cincinnati’s Pamela Taylor picks up some coconut fried shrimp Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Marina Mike’s of Fort Myers reported selling these two boats within a half-hour span on the opening morning of the Lover’s Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest on Friday. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Andy and Brandy Rumph of Cape Coral and Indiana, check out a Sea Fox boat Friday at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The Fort Myers Alpha Romeo dealership was represented at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The seafood at Bailey’s Concession was a major attraction at theThe sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The chicken was popular at Bailey’s Concession at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The sixth Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field brought out about 5,000 people over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The Fort Myers Alpha Romeo dealership was represented at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The Fort Myers Alpha Romeo dealership was represented at the Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest at Lovers Key State Park Event Field over the weekend. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The Lovers Key Boat Show, Market and Seafood Fest was deemed a “phenomenal success” by its organizers with close to 5,000 people attending over the weekend, said Bob Lombardo, president of The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs.
The three-day show, held for the sixth year at Lovers Key State Park Event Field off Estero Boulevard, drew another large contingent of boats as well as the familiar sight of homemade waffles, seafood and a variety of vendors. There was a new component this year with Alpha Romeo cars from the automobile maker’s Fort Myers dealership.
The return of the festival was an accomplishment itself after a pandemic that has put to bed many festivals and activities over the past year including a number of local events over the past month.
The show benefits a number of local charities including The Friends of Lovers Key, who are finishing up the furnishing of the welcome and discovery center on the park’s grounds across the street.
Before the morning was over on Friday, three boats had been sold on the grounds.
Bob Gutierrez, owner of The Boat Place on San Carlos Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach, said he sold a 2021 Cape Horn 36XS, heavy-duty offshore fishing boat while setting up before the show even started.
“This is one of our better shows,” Gutierrez said. “It’s local and in our backyard.”
He said the boat business has been doing “extremely well” during the pandemic.
“The whole thing has been getting inventory,” he said.
“Everybody wants to be on the water with their families during quarantine.”
Gutierrez had six boats for sale at the show, including a Pioneer, Bulls Bay, Cape Horn and Starcraft.
Marina Mike’s of South Fort Myers were also busy, selling two boats within a span of a half hour on Friday morning.
Sales Manager Mike Murphy said the dealership had about two dozen boats for show. “It’s a great show. It’s good to support the rotary club. We do very well.”
Murphy said the Bennington QX pontoon was one of the more impressive boats they had for sale. “You can do everything on it. You can party, you can cruise, you can fish,” he said. “Bennington is an elite boat for saltwater.”
Murphy said boating has seen an increase in popularity during the pandemic with more people getting into the sport for the first time. “You can do it with your family. That’s one good thing that the pandemic did do. It brought families together.”
Ray Valdes, of Miami and Naples, picked up a pontoon boat from Murphy. “He likes fishing and I like eating the fish,” said his wife Silvia.
They hope to use their new boat for trips closer to the shore.
Andy and Brandy Rumph, who split their time between Cape Coral and Indiana, were busy checking out a Sea Fox boat with a 249 center console. They were looking to replace their Tidewater boat. “It’s beautiful. We just sold ours. We had a similar-sized boat,” Mr. Rumph said.
Jim and Julie Valdez, of Wisconsin, were checking out boats as part of their plans to retire locally in the next few years. Ms. Valdez said it was 16 degrees in Wisconsin on Friday morning. They have a deck boat back in Wisconsin. Mr. Valdez said he enjoys “being outside, fishing” on the boat while his wife likes boating for sunbathing.
Not everybody was in the buying mood. Bob Snyder, of Fort Myers Beach and Maine, said “I think they are expensive.”
Gary Bailey, owner of Bailey’s Concession of Orlando, oversaw a busy seafood and chicken market on Friday with folks lining up to taste the grouper, shrimp, lobster rolls and other delicacies.
Bailey said they travel from Florida to California but their business has slowed to a crawl over the past year. Bailey said this weekend’s event was one of the largest they have done since the pandemic.
“It’s been horrible on our company,” he said. Bailey said his staff dropped from about 25 people to just six working this weekend. “We’re one of the few traveling seafood vendors,” he said.
Lombardo said the seafood was popular with attendees.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Cincinnati’s Pamela Taylor, as she grabbed some coconut fried shrimp.
“We raised a lot of money for charity,” Lombardo said. “It turned out great.”

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