Bad weather and a slumbering economy took a bite out of attendance at the Toronto Motorcycle Show last weekend, but show manager Darryl Bond reports that it was a success.
Attendance was down just over 10 per cent, he says, with 31,891 visitors this year compared to almost 36,000 last year.
He blames that on winter weather that closed highways 400 and 11 on Friday night in the Parry Sound — Huntsville area north of Toronto. High winds and heavy snow created white-out conditions and closed other roads north of Toronto as well. Bond says surveys indicate that about 40 per cent of a typical show audience travels a considerable distance to Toronto, so many of those visitors might have been turned away by that weather.
However, others made it, and events like She Rides Nite were a success, with nearly 2,000 women attending that one, while Support the Troops Night on Saturday smelled less like victory with only about 100 military personnel attending.
Bond said retailers on the show floor felt that "given the current economic climate and what they’ve seen over the past few months on their showroom floors," sales were "in some cases better than expected.
The MMIC Motorcycle Show moves across the country from Toronto, taking in Calgary Jan. 8 – 10, Edmonton Jan. 15 – 17, Vancouver Jan. 21 – 24, Quebec City Feb. 5 – 7, Moncton Feb. 12 – 14, and Montreal Feb. 26 – 28.