Sunday, January 11, 2004

Show has boating fans dreaming of summer



By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Kara Wilson, 3, Krista Wilson, 5, Elyssa Picchioni, 2, and Jennifer Wilson (from left) check out a pleasure boat during the Cincinnati Travel, Sport & Boat Show on Saturday.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
DOWNTOWN - Pigtailed Skylar Rowley, 4, reached out bravely toward the wriggling silver trout at the end of her fishing pole.

"He feels soft," she said, awestruck at hooking her first fish ever.

Skylar's grandfather, Terry Rowley of Springfield Township, beamed proudly next to the 4,500-gallon tank, one of the attractions that drew crowds of winter-weary residents to the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show on Saturday.

"She loves to fish - that's all we talk about," Rowley said.

IF YOU GO
What: Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show
When: Today, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri., noon-9:30 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Jan. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $9; children ages 13 and under, $3.
Information: www.hartproductions.com or (513) 281-0022.
Among the vacation booths upstairs, Larry Sprinkle of Crestview Hills was planning trips to Panama, Hawaii and the Caribbean.

But he won't go to Europe.

"One of my kids wanted to go to France, and I said: 'No, I won't go there' " because France opposed the U.S. war with Iraq, he said.

Fear of terrorism is also keeping some of his friends from traveling.

"I have one friend who used to travel a lot who won't anymore because of 9-11," Sprinkle said. "He will not get on an airplane now, and he used to fly all over the world. ... I think there are a lot of people who still have that fear."

But for most folks, Saturday was spent dreaming of vacations closer to home.

Dozens of people were waiting in line by 2 p.m. to walk through three luxury boats, including a $422,000 45-foot Carver yacht that features a wet bar and cherrywood interior.

Jackie Allen of Dayton, Ohio, said she and her husband, Mark, hoped to retire to such a yacht someday.

The Allens drove to Lake Erie nearly every weekend last year from April through October to live on their '61 Chris-Craft boat.

"We're pretty diehard. Once Christmas is over, it's time to start thinking about (boating)," Mark Allen said.

E-mail loakes@enquirer.com




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