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Annapolis Boat Shows sold to maritime group

Annapolis Boat Shows, the organization operating events that annually bring tens of thousands of people to downtown Annapolis' City Dock, has been sold by owner C. Edward Hartman II.

The company, which operates the U.S. Sailboat Show, the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, the U.S. Powerboat Show and others, is under contract to be purchased by a team led by current show general manager Paul Jacobs, who will continue in that role, according to a press release issued Friday.

Others partners in the group are Sheila Jones, current show manager; Peter Trogdon, owner of Weems and Plath, an Eastport-based marine industry firm; Bob Crain, owner of the Annapolis-based Applied Lighting; and Mary Ewenson, owner of SpinSheet and PropTalk magazines and publications related to Chesapeake Bay boating.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The sale comes as the City of Annapolis is undergoing a review of the overall master plan for the City Dock area. In the spring, Hartman expressed concern about aspects of the review, including proposals that would reduce parking in the downtown area, which he said could affect the shows. The master plan review has not yet been completed.

In the release, Trogdon said the new owners hope to use the show to "bring more marine companies to Annapolis and encourage them to open operations here."

"We plan to connect them with the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation, so we can all work together to stimulate the economy and build the marine industry," he said.

The company said the Annapolis Boat Shows contributes some $50 million annually to the local economy, and supports Annapolis-area charities, schools and churches.

Staff Reports

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