You Came Down South. Now, Come Out West..

October 2005 News By Steve Smede

Take a good look at the cover of our magazine. Notice something that's missing? Actually, it has been missing for quite some time, and more than a few astute readers informed us that perhaps we had left off our magazine's "positioning statement" unintentionally. Just so you are aware, the latest incarnation of our logo required us to axe the phrase: "The Family Magazine for the American Houseboater." That claim-which simply didn't fit the aesthetic design of the new logo-certainly still rings true, and it is with us in spirit to this very day. We are a family-oriented magazine, for sure (despite the occasional wayward advertisement or Freudian editorial slip). Our focus is also nation-wide-actually continent-wide, because we often cover the fine houseboating opportunities in Canada, also. At any rate, we've always felt that it was never enough to focus only on the houseboating heartlands of the Southeast and Upper Midwest, although such coverage certainly deserves its due.

Often less reported-in Houseboat as well as other media outlets-are the houseboating opportunities left of the Mississippi. This is no trivial concern, because the interest and enthusiasm from that market segment is growing exponentially.

One obvious case in point is Lake Powell, which certainly stands out as a western houseboating icon. Yet, this houseboater's Shangri La is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities in that region. It may surprise many of you that California alone represents a huge readership base for the magazine, and we have plenty of subscriptions coming in from Nevada, Arizona, Washington and Oregon with some regularity.

From the waters of the California Delta to the pristine shores of the region's great desert lakes, the houseboat market is booming out West. Now more than ever, it only makes sense to honor and promote this growth with a congratulatory nod from the rest of the houseboating world.

Now celebrating the completion of our seventh National Houseboat Expo in Louisville, Ky., we have decided to launch a new, ADDITIONAL show to be held in Reno, Nevada at the tail end of October. It is named, quite appropriately, National Houseboat Expo West. Just like in Louisville, you'll have the chance to sample the finest innovations from the world of houseboating, plus an added docket of exhibitors, a slew of vacation opportunities and an all-around great time in a city well-known for its kicked-back flavor of fun.

We've already received a big thumbs up from major players in houseboat building circles, as well as the entire gamut of houseboat-specific aftermarket companies. As for the readership, that's a bit harder to peg. Feedback thus far has been quite encouraging for those of you willing to travel.

One subscriber emailed us just recently to let us know that she and her husband are already planning to come out to Reno from Lexington. Her question for us was this: "How long of a drive?"

Turns out her real point was that "We want to make this more than a trip to a show. We want to do the whole adventure, and meet new people with a love for houseboating, just like us."

A three-day road trip between the "Western 11" and the Heartland may be a bit much for most of us (just ask our own magazine crew, who begrudgingly made the trip earlier this year for the Louisville show), but there are certainly merits to the idea of coming out to Reno, no matter where you and your houseboat call home. The western flavor of the lifestyle is quite unique, as are the enthusiasts who regularly partake in it. It is a potential meeting of the minds, a rediscovery of your own recreational interests, and a bonding with kindred houseboating spirits from afar.

OK, that's a bit over the top. But at the very least, this show is bound to be one heck of a good time. Come on out and see for yourself. And for all you Westerners who have passed on our previous Expos in Kentucky, get yourself ready for a boat show-umm, make that an ADVENTURE-you'll never forget.

For the latest details, log onto the main National Houseboat Expo site at

  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!