Vendors take over TCC for 59th annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You've seen the gem show signs and sellers all over town, but now the largest annual show in Tucson -- and the world -- gets underway today.
Vendors spent all day Wednesday setting up their displays at the Tucson Convention Center for the 59th Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
For the 23rd year in a row, Dan Weinrich from St. Louis is putting his minerals on display in Tucson. Nine On Your Side asked him what keeps bringing him back.
"Money," he said. "It is the biggest show in the world for what we do."
Outside the convention center on Wednesday, a line of vendors in moving trucks waited for their allotted times to move in and prepare their displays.
"It's hectic, but it goes smooth," Weinrich said.
It's the third year Paul Harter is the man in charge of making sure the set up and the entire show run efficiently.
"I think that's a fair statement to call it -- organized chaos -- because you have 250 vendors all wanting to get in, bringing in display cases, inventory, and bringing props in," Harter said.
Harter told Nine On Your Side nearly 90 percent of the vendors have been at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show before, which eases getting everything ready in time for today's opening.
"Certain vendors have come to look for recurring space so their customers know how to make a b-line from the door," Harter said.
When the vendors like Weinrich keep coming back, Tucson becomes a second home.
"When you spend a month of your life here for how many years now, 23 years, you know you start adding that up," he said. "That's several years of your life where you're in Tucson."
The theme of this year's Tucson Gem and Mineral show is "Flourite: Colors of the Rainbow."