Spokane Boat Show returns this week after two year hiatus

Jan. 24—After two years in dry dock, the Spokane Boat Show is set to kick off Thursday at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center.

The annual parade of all-things lake recreation was put off two years because of restrictions put in place following the coronavirus outbreak.

"Most all of the area dealers come, so customers can comparison shop," show organizer Scott Thompson said. "The market is very strong. Boats are becoming more available all the time."

Just like many high-end toys, dealers last year had willing customers but they faced supply-chain problems that kept inventory tight, Thompson said.

Several boat shops, including Trudeau's Marina of Spokane, Spokane Valley Marine, Specialty Recreation & Marine from Coeur d'Alene, Midway Marine of Post Falls, NW Boat & RV of Spokane Valley and Ascent Water Sports of Hayden are some of the vendors who will be putting hundreds of boats on display.

"We have an antique wooden boat display," Thompson said. "People can find everything from pontoons to ski boats. We actually have someone who rents boats, so you can rent one and see if you like it."

In addition to the latest models of wave tractors, or ballast boats designed to make waves for surfing, all kinds of other vendors will be on hand to sell their products.

"There will be someone here wrapping a boat," Thompson said. "Now, if you buy an older boat and want to make it modern and new, you just put a vinyl wrap on it."

Northwest Portal will have a booth to show its interactive maps.

"They have not only lake maps and river maps, but detailed maps that show boat launches, fuel spots and camping places," Thompson said. "They also sell maps for UTVs and ATVs and jeep roads."

And for those persons who want to combine boat recreation and a place to stay, Haven Real Estate Group of Spokane will offer customers a unique experience for lake home shopping, he said.

"If you are looking at a lake place or certain house, you can put on the virtual reality goggles and do a virtual tour of the lake place," Thompson said.

Of course, anyone who finds exactly the boat they want can walk over to get pre-approved from Horizon Credit Union right at the show, he said.

Thompson said the only change from past years is the length of the show. In the past, it had run 10 days. This year, it was cut down to four days.

It starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. It opens 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for Sunday when it runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youths ages 13-17 and free for younger children.