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My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show
  
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Turbo




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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2016 08:36    Post subject: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

I plan on making my first Tucson trip for the 2017 show. I'm planning on staying 4 days, and should probably book soon. Any suggestions on how to make the best of four days? Thanks!

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Ed Bayley
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2016 10:17    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

HI TURBO, From my several previous experiences at the show, here are a few very general suggestions for TUCSON 2017.
I suggest making your reservations NOW. It is not too early as lots of Arizona winter visitors and Tucson show goers will need motel rooms in February. It makes a difference if you have a car or will use public transportation and show shuttles. Look at Tucson area maps and your transportation needs and then go online. You will get better rates on line and know what is available in your price range and nearest to the show venues. The decent, close to the show motels fill up first with only very lo end seedy ones and very hi end pricey ones or far out motels with long travel time ones remaining as it get closer to show times. Also, if you plan on flying to Tucson and renting a car, make rental arrangements early as lots of folks rent vehicles those February weeks.

As to making the best of your 4 days, I suggest going on line for the various show dates and locations. FROM THE MOMENT YOU ARRIVE IN TUCSON, HAVE A PLAN! Besides the main show, know what other shows you want to try to see and have them plotted out on your map. There are many "shows" all over town . Some are primarily bead and jewelry shows. Some are primarily fossil shows. Others are mineral shows and most are mixed. If minerals is your main interest you will want to see the "main show" at least 1 day. You will want to avoid those venues that don't interest you and see the shows in the other locations that are of more interest to you. Print out a Tucson city map with the suburbs included from any on line map site and then plot the show locations that interest you. That makes it easier to get around. I STRONGLY urge you to use the show shuttles whenever possible as parking is scarce. If you take your own car or a rented car, arrive very early each morning to find a parking space, then use a shuttle from there until you are finished for the day and return to your car.

If you are buying, visit the "tents" areas as that is where some really good bargains can be found. Other than the tents areas and main show, there are about 4,5, or 6 other shows worth visiting for minerals. Some are very hi end venues worth looking at (for example, The Westward Look Show) even if you cannot afford their specimens. The other venues have all grades of specimens, but only experience and looking around will let you decide which are the best venues for your tastes and budget. At most motel venues, dealers set up in the motel rooms and vary from one dealer/room to the next so just go from room to room looking at what interests you.

Hope this helps a bit! BOB
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Turbo




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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2016 10:57    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

Thanks for the insight! I'm definitely focusing on minerals. I also plan on flying in and renting a car. I'll check the maps for sure. Does two pre-main show and two main show days make the most sense? Do the best mineral satellite shows tend to still be running through the main show days? Lastly, do the best shows require any credentialing to visit/purchase, as I will be attending as a collector and not a dealer.

Ed
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2016 11:17    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

TURBO, It is good that you have a plan and are focused. For first timers, the scope of everything can be a bit overwhelming. Four days is a bit short so I would plan on 2 days for the main show and the other 2 days for a couple of the other venues and the tent areas if you plan to look for something to buy. The different shows do have different dates that are often not overlapping so know the differing show dates as compared to your 4 days in Tucson. As far as I know anyone can get into any show; the only exceptions being the wholesale areas where a dealer tax ID might be required. Some very hi end dealers might restrict entrance to their highest end display cabinets to those collector/buyers that they recognize. Understanding that you will not see nearly everything in 4 days will help you prepare to do what you can and not be disappointed.
The main show is big! There are lots of exhibits and dealers. The exhibits are worth looking at. There also are lectures worth attending. But all this takes time so again be prepared to not do everything. Have a great time. BOB
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2016 12:05    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

TURBO, PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR LIFE CHANGED!!! 4 DAYS WILL PROBABLY GET YOU HOOKED ENOUGH THAT YOU WILL LOOK FOR WAYS TO EXTEND THAT TIME FOREVERMORE!

A lot depends on what days of the week you can come/get off work. The Main Show (and as Exhibits Chair there I heartily encourage you to make that a key component in your Tucson experience) always opens on the second Thursday in February...for 2017 that is the 9th, TGMS has over 200 dealers, 160 exhibits and lots to do and people to meet, so unless your goal is to load up for business it is the place to be. The satellite shows open as much as 3 weeks before and many are closed by the time the Main Show opens. So if you plan to hit the Main Show and you can get off during the week, come before it opens. The Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show is still open (200+ dealers) then as are many of the more wholesale oriented motel venues. Westward Look closes on Monday so it will not be open. One advantage of coming then is that many of the dealers are winding down and will make very good deals on their remaining inventory...this is especially true of the shows that are stilll open after the Main Show opens, but you will find a lot of closed doors and folks packing up by then.

Look around online for one of the 2016 Show directories...this will give you a good orientation on where the shows are and their dates. Colored Stone even has a timeline showing overlap between the shows.

One more factor to consider is that Friday morning at TGMS is School Visits day and there will be 3-4000 kids running around. It is a lot of fun to watch their excitement but it can also be hard to get around then.

Look forward to seeing you here...

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Joseph D'Oliveira




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PostPosted: Aug 28, 2016 12:48    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

Hi Turbo,
If you plan on making reservations this early, you should make a check a few weeks before you leave to confirm your reservation. One year I used one of the on line companies to book my rooms early and called down to the front desk at the hotel in Tucson to confirm my reservation. When I arrived at the hotel for the show, I was told that my reservation had been cancelled months ago but the booking service had not been notified. The manager however did tell me that "fortunately" for me, he had one room left but it was at a higher price so I took it.

Four days is not a long time for the Tucson show but you should be able to cover a good portion of the mineral section. When I first started to attend the show, I found it overwhelming and the wide variance in pricing can be rather frustrating at times. Certainly have a plan of attack for the show is a great idea, I have no doubt that you will enjoy it, have fun.

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Turbo




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PostPosted: Aug 29, 2016 09:08    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

Thanks for all the great advice. Everything is booked now! Now I just have to weather 160 days of anticipation!

Ed Bayley
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Aug 29, 2016 09:29    Post subject: Re: My first Tucson trip for the 2017 Show  

Get in practice...go buy a rock!
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