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Renfro Productions Acquires Popular Cincinnati Consumer Shows from Hart Productions
Family-run Indianapolis company to leverage 66 years of experience to improve the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show and Cincinnati Golf Show for the benefit of exhibitors and attendees

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., September 16, 2019 – Renfro Productions, Inc. of Indianapolis and Hart Productions, Inc. of Cincinnati share a pioneering history of outdoors promotions. These family-owned businesses have owned, operated and promoted two of the nation’s largest, oldest and most-successful outdoor sports consumer shows since the 1950’s. Today, the two companies announce an agreement that will transfer ownership and future operation of the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show and the Cincinnati Golf Show from Hart Productions to Renfro Productions.

Renfro Productions produces several popular consumer trade shows in Indianapolis, the largest of which – The Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show – has delighted Indiana’ s outdoor enthusiasts for nearly 66 years. Since its humble beginnings in 1953, the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show has evolved to become the largest outdoor show of its kind in the nation.

“We are excited and honored to take the reins of such a long-standing and successful show from the Hart Family,” says Renfro Productions President, Kevin Renfro. “We have a second-generation business just like Chip and Victoria (Hart),” adds Renfro, who remembers visiting the Cincinnati show with his Dad and company founder, Harry Renfro, when he was young. “Chip and I have always had an excellent relationship over the years… not only talking shop, but talking about our latest hunting and fishing trips, too. We both grew up in a business that took our families all across the country and Canada. From a very early age, we both understood the passions of those who love the great outdoors. That understanding translated into producing quality consumer shows for our attendees, both in Indianapolis and in Cincinnati.”

Hart Productions has owned and produced the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show since the late 50’s. Created by Robert S. “Bob” Hart, Jr. and originally held at the Cincinnati Gardens, the show was moved in 1967 to the Cincinnati Convention & Exposition Center downtown (now the Duke Energy Convention Center), where it has resided ever since. It has been Cincinnati’s only Boat Show for over 6 decades, introducing generations of families and vendors to the exciting world of boating, travel, and the outdoors.
Harry Renfro was already 3-4 years underway with the Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. “I recall going to Indy to see their show when I was a kid, and Harry and his kids coming here to visit, too,” recounts Chip Hart, As family businesses in a new and expanding industry, we became very tightly knit with the Renfro Family and shared a great deal of camaraderie,” he adds. “There was a tremendous amount of mutual respect and admiration.”

“We’ve been extremely fortunate and have weathered national and international events, wars, economic instability, lifestyle changes, the advent of a myriad of new media forms and the Internet,” Hart says of the barrage of changes that have impacted his industry and business over the years. “It’s been a great run. We have been able to entertain outdoors-loving people from around Greater Cincinnati while generating tremendous commerce opportunities for hundreds of local businesses like marine dealers, marinas and retail and service operations serving the outdoors.”
But the best part for Chip and Victoria has always been the people. “It’s always been rewarding to walk the show floor and run into people that began going to the Cincinnati Gardens as kids with their parents and then continued to return with their own kids and grandkids,” Chip says.
Renfro says he and his associates are looking forward to building on the strong foundation the Hart Family has established with both of the Cincinnati shows. “With all its beautiful and amazing natural resources, Ohio has incredible recreational opportunities, and we know Ohioans are serious about the outdoors,” Renfro says. “The best way to showcase what Ohio and the rest of North America have to offer is to bring in exhibitors who represent all aspects of outdoor recreation. But it doesn’t stop there. We plan to make exciting programming changes that establish the Cincinnati shows as an annual gathering place for passionate attendees. We’ll continue to build on the most popular and successful aspects of each show, while placing increased emphasis on greatly expanding on the hunting and fishing aspects of the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show. We will be announcing exciting new additions to the show going into the 2021 show season, and will begin contacting existing and new exhibitors very soon.”
“Our decision to transfer ownership to Renfro Productions was not at all taken likely,” Hart says. “We firmly believe that with their experience, talents, contacts, and ability to drive qualified attendees, the Cincinnati Shows can grow well beyond their current range. Renfro Productions was the perfect choice given their historical association with us and the industry. The phenomenal success of their similar event in Indianapolis and their Midwest knowledge of the business, industries and visitors made perfect sense. Second generation President, Kevin Renfro, and Vice President, Mark Kaley, have always shared similar visions. We welcome them to Cincinnati and are excited for our show exhibitors and attendees, who are the beneficiaries of this transaction.”

The 63rd Annual Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show will take place January 17-19 and 22-26 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. The 25th Annual Cincinnati Golf Show is scheduled to take place January 17-19, 2020 at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

About Renfro Productions
The Renfro family has been helping outdoor families and enthusiasts to connect with outdoors industry professionals, the best gear, destinations, information, and improve the quality of their outdoor recreational experiences for over 60 years. Renfro Productions produces and organizes several highly popular and well-attended sports- and recreation-enthusiast consumer shows each year, including the largest sport show in the nation, the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show. Learn more at www.renfroproductions.com.