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Inside the Fort Lauderdale show preparations

FORT LAUDERDALE - Crews are working around the clock to set up for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which opens today and runs through Monday.

It takes a month to build the show, but only a week to tear it down, according to Dane Graziano of Show Management, the company that operates the show.

The first phase started Sept. 26 and continued at a frenetic pace until the show’s opening. Throughout the process, Graziano and his team remove obstacles, such as entire tennis courts, to make room for the show. After the weeklong teardown of the small largely floating city, they will rebuild all of the tennis courts and everything else they took down for the show, leaving everything in Fort Lauderdale as if the whole thing had never happened.

This year the show is taking on even more of a themed approach to help visitors more easily navigate it, Kristina Hebert, president of the show’s owner, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, told Soundings Trade Only.

It’s also an effort to up the “fun quotient,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, founder of Active Interest Media, the company that owns Show Management and Soundings Trade Only.

Creating the Super Yacht Builders Association pavilion, which is referred to as SYBAss and is in its second year of production, requires methods akin to the Egyptians as they built the pyramids, Graziano told Soundings Trade Only.

To create the pavilion, 50 truckloads of exhibit material are unloaded by forklift and a small truck crane painted pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes the materials as close as it can get. After that, pallet jacks and people bring it all to the water to build a 25,000-square-foot barge.

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