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[Tucson 2004] - Hotels for Tuscon

I'm planning to go this year and thus need to try and get a hotel
room reservation ASAP. Anyone have any good ideas / suggestions
besides the obvious-- 

It is probably a bit late to get a confirmed reservation for the
downtown hotels for the February 2004 Tucson Shows. Though one year
I showed up at the airport in Tucson - called the ex-Holiday Inn
Downtown from the airport (now it is the Radisson) and got a room
for the whole period of the show.

One year I stayed in Casa Grande at the (then) new Motel 6. I didn’t
have a reservation - just stopped there on the way into Tucson. It
was about a 45 minute ride to the downtown shows - 60+ miles North
on I-10 at 75 miles an hour - but when you get to close to downtown
Tucson the traffic slowed considerably. The price was about 1/4 of
the price of the hotels in Tucson - even at the Motel 6s in Tucson
the price goes up to double for the show period. There is a Super 8
motel at the same highway intersection and not much else but a
Burger King and McDonalds and a few gas stations. Since I was an
exhibitor and had to be at the Show at 8 a.m. it was not a good
solution - but if you are not an exhibitor - it might be a solution.

You might try Benson, Arizona which is just east of Tucson on I-10
about 43 miles and has Motel 6, Super 8, Holiday Inn, Best Western
and Days Inn motels

Finally, I'd be interested to hear informed opinions about whether
you think it's better to buy at Tucson during the first few days
(best cherry picking?) or the last few days (better prices, more
room to negotiate?). 

There is absolutely the largest selection in the world of Gem
Materials and Gemstones at the Tucson Shows and dealers from all
over the world competing with each other - so if you work at it a
bit, you can definitely buy gemstones at prices lower than if you
went to the dealer’s home country and tried to buy them.

As far as I am concerned the 2002 and 2003 shows have been buyers
shows where the buyers ruled and pretty much set their own prices or
at least got things far cheaper than in other years. After the 2003
show I talked to quite a few high end stone dealers who said the
they had basically sold at unheard of low prices to just get some
working capital back into their companies, and these were dealers at
the AGTA show where you usually don’t get low prices, as a norm.

This will be the last year for the show at the ex-Holiday Inn
downtown. It is apparently moving about 10 miles to the north of
town to a resort hotel for the 2005 show.

Also, I've heard about the pre-Tucson show in Quartzite Arizona in
late January; are they worthwhile? What's it like, what (primarily)
is being sold there, and where does one stay if you're not RVing

Quartzite is more rough stone materials. It is basically an open air
show on tables and tailgates etc., so if it is a windy day you get
sand blasted or cold. Here’s the show and hotel

You might try the Cloud’s Jamboree Show which moved from Quartzite
to Laughlin, Nevada. January 9 - 25, 2004 The dates on the site differ from those
in their ad in Colored Stone Magazine.

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - February 5 - 10, 2004 - GJX # 205
e-mail: USA February 2004
e-mail: Brasil <@Robert_P_Lowe_Jr1>