Return of the boat show welcomed by sellers, visitors (6 photos)


The Orillia Spring Boat, Cottage, and Green Technology Show kicked off today at the Port of Orillia.

“Exhibitors are pretty happy to be here doing something,” says Doug Bunker, who helps organize events on behalf of the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce. “We are very happy.”

He says a supply chain issue has impacted many of the regular vendors who set up shop at the annual event.

“A lot of clothing sellers, we lost that way,” he said, “but we still have a lot of gear, equipment and electronic technology sellers.”

While there are “63 diverse sellers” this weekend, the show is running out of boats for sale.

“The boat inventory is terrible,” Bunker said. “One of the local marinas said they have a bunch of boats lined up, but they’re so busy delivering or getting caught up with all their services.”

He says the backlog of boat inventory has affected the marina industry and will continue for some time. Despite the lack of boats, Bunker says people are ready to rewatch the event at the Port of Orillia.

“The expectation was there,” he said. “I think it’s kind of a kind of event to hang out and enjoy.”

Sandra Schutt, owner of Love My Legs, has been a salesperson at the salon for about 10 years. She made the annual trip to Orangeville this year.

“There are a lot of people coming to this event,” she said. “For the three days, it’s going to be great.”

Schutt sells leggings, capris, jeggings and shirts. She says the event was missed during the pandemic.

“We’re really excited to be back in the public,” she said. “Being able to talk to our customers instead of just interacting online really helps.”

Whitewater Docks, based in Hawkestone, is another company frequently found at the annual event. Sales Manager Bradley Poole says it gives him a chance to interact with potential customers.

However, Poole noticed the crowd was smaller than usual on Friday afternoon.

“It’s going to take time to get everything back on track,” he said. “People are rusty.

The show is open to the public and there is no entrance fee. It runs today from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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