Smoother parking during day 2 of Miami International Boat Show

Plan ahead to avoid boat show parking problems

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. - Parking and traffic troubles were all the talk at the 75th annual Miami International Boat Show on Virginia Key Thursday - but it was a much different picture Friday.

Signs, prepaid and reserved parking passes helped direct visitors to the boat show and aided them in landing a coveted parking spot.

The boat show runs until Monday and is taking place at the Miami Marine Stadium, where it is expected to host 100,000 people from around the world.

One important tip is to plan ahead.

Bill Holt spent about $25, reserved a spot online and says it was worth it; meanwhile, some patrons like Charles Lanier were a bit braver.

"We didn't prepay," Lanier said.

Instead, he parked by Marlins Stadium and took a shuttle bus ride back to the venue.

Turns out, the best way to get to the show is by boat, and folks at water taxi sites, like Jim Doris, swear by it.

"We had to wait a little bit on the taxis but it is still worth the wait because it is still faster than going over in a bus," Doris said, as he waited at the Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove.

Show organizers say the five day event will have a nearly $6 million economic impact on South Florida and directly supports an estimated 6,500 jobs.

Money from renting the site will be used to renovate the Miami marine stadium.

To add to the parking and traffic woes, workers at the boat show are getting ready for the Coconut Grove arts festival, which is taking place this weekend.

These two events have always been on the same weekend but never in such close proximity, and could turn Friday's smooth sailing into a rough ride for the weekend.

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