Lapidary and Jewelry News > Shows, Auction Announcements, Estates

Upcoming Tuson show 2018

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likesrocks:
I have never been to this one, but will be this year 2018 for certain. Any regulars care to offer pointers, this year I will be a buyer/spectator!

Phishisgroovin:
one of these years i will be able to afford the trip down there and have some fun also

jerrysg:
First of all the "Tucson show" is different from most of the rock and gem shows around the country. It is not one show but rather about 40+ separate shows at different venues spread out around the City of Tucson. This coming year the opening date for some (but not all) of the shows will be Friday January 25, 2018 and the closing date for almost all the shows is Sunday, February 11, 2018.  "The Main Show" which is sort of the reason all the other shows are here, runs from Thursday, February 8, 2018 to Sunday, February 11, 2018 at the Tucson Convention Center and is sponsored by The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society. The theme for the exhibits this year is "Crystals and Crystal Forms" (See below) My wife and I are members of this club and work at the show every year. This is a juried show where vendors and their exhibits must be approved by the show committee and we generally have a waiting list for vendors from year to year.  Most major museum around the world also have exhibits (not selling). I have heard that attending the Main Show is equal to visiting 10 major mineral museums all in one day. Some of the very high end dealers are at this show as well as world renowned jewelry makers.

The other shows are held at venues that range from large tents erected on empty lots to the various hotels located throughout the city.  Some shows are wholesale only and admission is dependent on having a tax exempt retail license; others are open to the public. Some are hybrid in that they are open to the general public but also offer special pricing to retail dealers.  Some shows are devoted to a single large vendor and others have as many as 200 separate vendors. One of the larger hotel shows is located at the Hotel City Center (formerly the Inn Suites). This is an old fashioned 2 story motel where every room has an outside door either at ground level or via an outside balcony.  There are 5 or 6 separate buildings and I would say that 80% of the rooms are rented to vendors.  In most cases vendors at each of the shows work through a show promoter who actually lease the show space, provide show services and then rent individual spaces to the specific vendors.

Hotel accommodations are in very short supply during the shows and most hotels and RV parks raise their rates into the stratosphere. I would doubt that there are many hotel rooms available at this late date.  Most regulars to the shows make their reservations for the next year during the current year's show. Best best is to find a friend living in Tucson and bunk with them. But some of the locals (not rock people) leave for the duration of the shows and rent out their houses.

Here is a link to a listing of some of the shows. It is not yet complete but can give you some idea of the extent of the shows.

http://www.tucsongemshows.net/coming.html

Best bets for lapidary people who are looking for either rough or slabs are the following shows: Hotel Tucson City Center, Miners Co-op Rock Show, The Rock Show at the Kino Sports Complex (but not in the tent but out back in the big lot), The 22nd Street show.

The wife and I live about 45 minutes outside of Tucson and, not counting the 4 days we are at The Main Show, go in about 5 or 6 other days to the other shows.  We do not have a retail license so we have never been to the wholesale shows. Also we do not go to the bead shows since our interests lie elsewhere.

Still, if you are interested in lapidary and minerals, Tucson in late January and early February is like Disneyland for rock junkies and not to be missed.

Jerry

gemfeller:
What jerrysg said.  Chances are if you don't already have a motel/hotel room or some other accommodation you'll be out of luck.  At this late date prepare to pay *lots* for a room if you can find one unless you're exceptionally lucky. 

I've attended many of the Tucson shows and have watched it grow exponentially over the years.  Bring comfortable shoes and prepare for lots of walking.   A backpack or some other means of toting your buys is very helpful.  There have been shuttle buses to the various venues in the past so try to find a schedule. Parking in the major venues can be a real pain. 

If you subscribe to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Gem Artist, their annual Show Guide has been an invaluable resource for me in the past.  It lists all the venues, has maps, shuttle schedules, plus vendor listings showing where they're located and what they're selling, etc.  Even if you don't subscribe I think it's available by mail as a single copy but as I recall it's somewhat spendy.   

If you're a wholesale buyer bring lots of money and have copies of your state's tax resale number and a business license for jewelry-related sales as well as business cards and any other proof of actually being in the jewelry/gem trade.  Admittance to the AGTA, GJX and other major wholesale shows is particularly strict.  They're looking for gem/jewelry related business credentials, not the family lumber yard or pet grooming service.

Tucson is a mind-blowing experience for first-timers.  Second and third or more timers too!  There are so many buying temptations I've found that making a list of my genuine needs and keeping to it is essential. Otherwise my money's gone on the first day and I'm too broke to take advantage of major deals I didn't see at first. Don't always jump at the first deal you see.  Try to look around a bit even though you're up against the old dilemma: look before you leap or he who hesitates is lost

Good luck and have fun!       

jerrysg:

--- Quote from: gemfeller on November 16, 2017, 12:43:43 PM ---
If you subscribe to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Gem Artist, their annual Show Guide has been an invaluable resource for me in the past.  It lists all the venues, has maps, shuttle schedules, plus vendor listings showing where they're located and what they're selling, etc.  Even if you don't subscribe I think it's available by mail as a single copy but as I recall it's somewhat spendy.   
     

--- End quote ---

There is also this guide (http://www.tucsonshowguide.com/) available free at most venues once the shows open. They are on racks outside most show entrances.

Jerry

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