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50th Annual Fort Wayne Show Has New Twists

March 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Outdoor Sports, Lake & Cabin Show that starts Friday at the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne Ind., has ” all the aspects that the old show used to have – the fishing, hunting, boats and RVs – but it’s also getting more into the lifestyle and log cabins and lakefront homes,” says Dave Marquart, co-owner of Coliseum Productions and director of operations for the show.

Consider it both a revamped version of its 50-year-old predecessor and something of an homage as well, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

“I think the old show kind of ran its course,” Marquart said.

“I’m from Fort Wayne, and I actually worked on that show as a kid. It really was quite a show in its day, and I think it went years and years without anything new and different.”

There will also be a 3-D archery simulator with moving targets (“You can bring your own bow or we’ll provide one,” Marquart says), a fly-fishing pond (“A pro will be there all day giving lessons”), seminars and hundreds of exhibitors divided into six specialty areas:

  • RV and motor sports.
  • Boats and water sports.
  • Hunting and fishing.
  • Log cabin and cottage living.
  • Vacation and travel.
  • Biking, hiking, camping and fitness.

All visitors to the show will receive $10 in Gander Bucks from Gander Mountain, coupons from Dick’s Sporting Goods and a free copy of Northern Indiana Lakes magazine.

“We’re definitely making sure people leave feeling they got their money’s worth,” said Marquart.

“One of the things I’ve learned in 25 years is you never want to send people away thinking they didn’t get their money’s worth.”

This latest venture came together, he said, because of a convergence of circumstances: The fact that the Sports, Vacation & Boat Show had closed shop, combined with Marquart’s local familiarity with it, combined with a business partner who owned several log-home-and-timber-frame shows that had “kind of run its course itself.”

He and his partner took a log-home-and-timber-frame pavilion to the Cleveland Sports Show a couple of weeks ago, but this will be their first show of their own.

Others are slated for Indianapolis and Salt Lake City in October.

“It’s in your blood, and it’s something I’ve always done,” Marquart says.

Though never quite like this.

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