The Hurricane Wilma hit Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) – the world’s largest – will continue.
Gold Coast resident and marketing manager of the $150m Rivergate Marina Shipyard Destination, Ms Kirsten Mackenzie said that the boat show had been rescheduled from 3 to 6 November.
Ms Mackenzie was to have launched Rivergate, Australia’s first fully integrated marina destination when the boat show destination was ‘almost trashed’ by the hurricane.
Murarrie Developments Pty Ltd, a company associated with Adco Constructions and Gold Coast-based directors Mr Bob Hill and Ms Judy Brinsmead and Central Properties Corporations’ Mr Stephen Gosling, is undertaking Rivergate.
Ms Mackenzie said that the Aussie group had to stay in Orlando, where they’d been based during the storm, whilst waiting for hotel accommodation to be confirmed in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend.
“ That will give us just a few days to re-build the stands, locate our material and prepare for the show. We cannot get to the area where our material is being stored, but we have to assume that much of it was destroyed,” she said.
Ms Mackenzie said that most of Fort Lauderdale was still without power on Friday so there were not many businesses operating.
“ If power is not restored before the show they will go ahead using generators. Fort Lauderdale is still in a bit of a mess, trees and power lines are still blocking roads, traffic lights are all sill out, most residents are without power, some people are still lining up for food and water that is being provided by the State and national guard, petrol is scarce.
“ Many of the CBD buildings were badly damaged and many homes lost rooves. The clean up has started in earnest though and within a week things should look a lot better,” she said.
Ms Mackenzie noted that some of the other Australian members of SYBA have pulled out of the show altogether.
“ The Sydney group, most of the Brisbane cluster and quite a few others will not attend.
“ The Australian stand will be only be about half the original size. Rivergate will now have a double sized stand,” she said.