Ottawa boating and fishing enthusiasts apparently don’t know the economy is sinking, since they turned out by the thousands and didn’t shy away from spending at the 33rd annual Boat and Sportsmen’s Show on the weekend.
“Ottawa keeps puttering on — it’s a bit recession-proof,” said Alfred McDonald, owner of Laurentian Marine Sales that sells boats in the medium size and price range. “We’ve done well so far,” he said on the last of the four-day show attended by about 20,000 people. “If it’s going to slow down, maybe it’ll be next year.”
Show manager Denise Hayward said exhibitors were happily writing orders, selling boats and ATVs, booking hunting and fishing trips, and connecting with potential clients who said, through surveys, they intended to buy.
Apart from the boat displays and fishing and hunting exhibitors, there were also clothing and gear suppliers, tourism associations, lodges and resorts, boat insurance companies, airlines, and even a charity that charged $1 each to race live minnows down an acrylic race track.