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Tucson: Helpful hint


#1

people -

if you are tucson bound you must anticipate the times you will need
to rest. do not be drawn to those knee high, 8 to 10 inch wide, sun
warmed concrete or brick walls along sidewalks in front of
businesses. the fact that you do not see locals perched on them
should be a warning. heed it. last year we decided to take a brief
rest on a wall between a nice grass patch & the sidewalk. a few
minutes into the hiatus i felt something creeping under my jacket &
up the back seam of my slacks. just about the time i had mentally
eliminated all the impossible possibilities - about 2 nanoseconds -
on came the popup sprinklers. so people, beware or be wet.

see you at the orchid dinner -

ive

who paraphrases 'you pass this way but once" so when something
catches your eye in tucson buy it then or lose out if you go back an
hour later.


#2

people -

how to avoid looking like a beast of burden - or looking a rookie -
or having your fingers drop off from lack of circulation in tucson:
bring canvas totes, backpacks or bookbags, or small roller bags.
regarding rollerbags, face it, someone will roll over your toes with
theirs so look at it as ‘when in tucson …’.

seriously, you will miss out if you do not plan now how to carry
your loot. i gave my partner a good quality roller bag that
converted to a backpack by unzipping shoulder & waist straps - a lot
of padding made it comfortable. the gift was a success: at the end
of the first week the outer half of an inch rubber wheel 'treads’
wore off from the 100 plus pounds a day it transported; the inner
wheels did fine for the last three weeks and are still holding up.

ive

who reminds you to tip charlie’s shuttle drivers a little something
each trip - they are among the nicest & most important people you
will meet in tucson & the more tired you get the more important they
become [charlie runs the shuttle service with susan’s help]


#3

people -

along with a suggestion to tip the shuttle drivers a little
something each trip i forgot to mention some shuttle van etiquette -
do not underestimate the importance of the following as they address
situations that have developed into hostility, name calling, shoving
matches & worse in the past (honest!):

  1. NEVER, NEVER just mosey over to a waiting line & butt in - ask
    which color route the others are waiting for & go to the end of the
    color route line you want - take your turn - assign yourself a
    number so that when someone saunters over & takes a position at the
    spot the van door will open you can sweetly say “if you’re waiting
    for green route we’re # 9 & 10, that makes # 11” [the shuttle vans
    hold 13, 14 at most].

  2. no subterfuges like stopping to talk to someone at the head of
    the line & staying there; no acting dumb like, gee, maybe those 20
    to 30 people standing there are waiting for the airport shuttle or a
    parade.

  3. age, gender, crutches, imminent motherhood impart no preferential
    priority - walk, or hobble, to the end of the line.

  4. time schedules run late through no fault of the drivers - use the
    delays to check the ‘colored stone show guide’ & drink water; rest &
    drink water; refresh your makeup & drink water; sew that button back
    on your jacket; paint your toenails while drinking water - anything
    but gripe.

ive

life may be short, but it’s still long enough to go to the end of
the shuttle line.


#4

All,

Tucson weather can be quite variable. Right now Arizona is under a
ridge of high pressure temperatures are in the mid 70’s F, winds are
light, and it is as close to perfect as you can get. But !!! It all
can change this time of year to snow, temperatures in the mid 30’s F,
high winds, or flooding down pours of rain. Be prepared.

This year should be a banner year for desert flora. Arizona had a
great rainfall in November and December which should allow maximum
germanation of long dormant seeds and root systems. Expect to see a
multitude of flowers in our deserts. HIllsides especially should
really be a delight.

Watch your step tho. Arizona deserts are littered with the remains
of plants that decay very slowly. This means lots of spines and
stickers that you would not normally expect to see in other
locations. Do not wear sneakers or boots with air holes in the sides
in the desert. One cholla spine through the sole or hole will leave
you with a very sore foot for several months. Get the message??

Also if the weather is warm you must watch out for venemous snakes
and arachnids. Warm weather in the spring meand they wil just be
stirring again. They wake up hungry and wanting to breed. Do not
mess with them as they are especially cantankerous in the spring.

Enjoy our desert, but be careful.

Gerry Galarneau
gggemswcr@cox.net


#5

All,

Tucson is a dealers one chance a year to make enough profit to allow
growth for the rest of the year. Tucson is for most dealers thier
largest investment in overhead for the year. I spend about $8,000 for
my stay in Tucson. That includes my booth fees, hotel, and food. I
live pretty cheaply. Following is a couple of hints for getting your
best deal.

Do not expect to get a discounted price if you are buying just a few
inexpensive items from a dealer.

When you are buying multiple items of value, $1,000 or more ask for
special pricing. Tell the dealer up front how you will be paying
for the transaction. If you want the best deal, pay with cash, a
travelers check. or a business check that can be verified. Carry
identification if you have not dealt with the dealer before and show
it to them prior to the transaction. In a sense preapprove yourself
to the dealer. Credit card fees eat up 2-4% of each transaction for
the dealer. Dealers figure that into each transaction. Try to carry
checks that can be cashed at a local bank. Many dealers cash checks
daily to give themselves operating capital. If you let the dealer
know up front how you are paying you may get a better deal.

Let the dealer know who you are and what you do in your business.
It will matter a lot to the dealer.

Do not ever, ever ask a dealer for the discount price for a quantity
and them try to get them to sell to you at that price for 1 or 2.

Do not ever, ever tell a dealer you will be paying with cash and
then drop a credit card on them.

If you are buying an expensive item, $1,000 or over, sometimes you
can negotiate, other times you cannot. Ask it is not rude.

When you reach an impass in negotiation do not become personnal. It
is business. Just say oh well and move on.

I will be showing at the Gem Mall in booth 111. We will be open for
business on the 29th of January through the 11th of February. See you
all there.

Gerry Galarneau
gggemswcr@cox.net


#6

Ive,

Very interesting commentary and suggestions. Of course none of us on
Orchid commit the transgressions you mention. Heavens forbid.!

When you have such a meld of cultures, some of what you describe is
"normal" behavior for that area. For some survival, achieving goals,
(getting that seat on that shuttle) is the focus, not “Manners” as
we know them to be. The Japanese Commuter trains come to mind. That
is only one cultural difference, there are many.

Keep a good sense of humor is the first Tucson Survival hint. When
pulling your cart, or wearing a back pack, be aware sudden stops or
changes of direction directly impact the persons all around you. One
only needs to be bopped once by a backpack wearing fellow shopper,
bending over to get a better look. Think the aisle seat of a loading
airplane and carry ons.

I do look forward once again to enjoy communing with all of you.
This is a great opportunity to meet face to face those you feel you
already intimately know.

Hugs
Terrie


#7
    Watch your step tho. Arizona deserts are littered with the
remains of plants that decay very slowly. This means lots of spines
and stickers that you would not normally expect to see in other
locations. Do not wear sneakers or boots with air holes in the
sides in the desert. One cholla spine through the sole or hole
will leave you with a very sore foot for several months. Get the
message?? Also if the weather is warm you must watch out for
venemous snakes and arachnids. Warm weather in the spring meand
they wil just be stirring again. They wake up hungry and wanting to
breed. Do not mess with them as they are especially cantankerous in
the spring. 

Folks, these warnings go double for those of you interested in
rockhounding out here during your stay in Tucson. Be very careful in
particular about overturning rocks or reaching under rocks, ledges,
etc. You could be disrupting the home of a rattlesnake or scorpion,
and you will be most unhappy if you connect with their sharp ends. Be
careful around cacti, it is not without reason that we call the
cholla the “jumping cactus.” Even those cacti which appear to have
only furry clumps where the spines should be will cause you much
discomfort. If you are going off the beaten path, bring water and a
cell phone, and let folks know where you are going and when you are
expected back. These make the difference between being a desert
rockhound and being a statistic.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#8

Terrie:

Well, it seems the time in my life has come to trip to Tucson or
Quartzite? Do you go to both? I really would like to motorcycle from
the end on the bad weather but have not figured out all the
logistics. If not then My wife Betty and my partner Greg will drive
ALA cage {yuk} and I would like to know how we might hook up. I have
been looking forward to meeting you for a long time as anyone who
would offer part of their liver to a stranger can’t be all bad
[duckin].

God bless ya Ringman


#9

Dear Ive:

Thanks for the suggestions & hints–staying hydrated (drinking LOTS
of water) and thinking ahead/preparing for how you are going to carry
all your purchases would certainly be on my “Top 10” list of things
to do/prepare for Tucson (along with both booking a hotel & saving
money in advance!).

I hear you and feel your pain regarding obnoxious morons trying to
butt into / bypass shuttle bus lines, but geez–how can I say “get to
the back of the line” to the extremely pregnant / handicapped /
elderly?! Then again, if you’re too pregnant or infirmed to wait in
line, perhaps you really shouldn’t be in Tucson . . . ?

Question for all: it’s been several years since I was last in
Tucson, and you can waste a lot of time looking for what you need at
the wrong shows. I’m in the silver jewelry business and am only
looking for finished silver jewelry (with or without stones)–anyone
care to advise me on the best shows and/or the ones to avoid?

Thanks in advance!
Doug


#10

Hello:

My wife and I will be going to the Tucson show for the first time
this year. We have a rental car but does it make sense? Is parking
usually available at the different show locations or is a shuttle
the best option?

Thanks,
Jeff


#11

Doug,

I am not a sterling or other silver dealer, but I sit amongst the
manufacturers and importers of silver all through the Tucson Show.
G+LW Gem Mall is one of the show places of Asian beads and silver
jewelry manufacturers. There is easy, free parking and full shuttle
bus operations. I am one of only three or four gemstone dealers in
the tonnage of beads and silver jewelry. In my opinion the Gem Mall
is the place to go.

Gerry Galarneau
gggemswcr@cox.net


#12
 I hear you and feel your pain regarding obnoxious morons trying
to butt into / bypass shuttle bus lines, but geez--how can I say
"get to the back of the line" to the extremely pregnant /
handicapped.... Then again, if you're too pregnant or infirmed to
wait in line, perhaps you really shouldn't be in Tucson . . . ?

I simply CANNOT believe the insensitivity of the remarks I am
hearing! So, the pregnant and handicapped are supposed to be
hermits that aren’t allowed to go anywhere or do anything fun? I’d
give up my seat in a heartbeat for a pregnant woman or a handicapped
person. I’m not sure I would want to know someone who wouldn’t do
so! Is it really SUCH a tragedy to have wait for the next
shuttle??? Is there no courtesy and decency left in the world???


#13

Hi Jeff,

  My wife and I will be going to the Tucson show for the first
time this year. We have a rental car but does it make sense? Is
parking usually available at the different show locations or is a
shuttle the best option? 

I’m sort of in your position, except that I live here & have to
drive to get to the 1st show of the day.

What I’ve found the most practical & convenient is this.

  1. Drive to the 1st show you plan on attending that day. We always
    plan to attend one that has a large parking lot 1st.

  2. Plan to arrive prior (1 hr to 1/2 hr) to the show’s opening .
    Most of the large shows open at 10:00 AM…

  3. If you’ve completed that show prior to the days end, ride the
    shuttle to the next show & then back to the parking lot at the end
    of the day.

The shows that have the largest parking lots are: The AGTA & GJX at
the Tucson convention center ( parking is usually $3.00/day), The
G&LW shows at the Holidome & the Rodeway, the tent shows at Tucson
Electric Park. The parking lot for the G&LW show at the Rodeway is
actually located about 2 blocks East of the Rodeway in a theater’s
parking lot. They have shuttles that run every few minutes from the
parking lot to the show. These are not the same shuttles that run to
all the shows. The GLDA show has moved from downtown Tucson to
Marriott Starr Pass Resort, several miles west of downtown on Starr
Pass Blvd. (an extension of 22nd St.) . It’s a 500 room facility, so
I’d guess parking would be good there. It’ll be served by show
shuttles.

In order to ‘kill the time’ prior to the shows arriving, the AGTA
show has a number of seminars that start at 9:00 each morning. You
could also get your breakfast close to where you park…

Dave


#14

Hello:

My wife and I will be attending Tucson for the first time this year.
We have a rental car to get from the airport to the hotel and to get
from the hotel (about 10 miles out from downtown) to downtown. My
question is this. Should I park the car in one place once downtown
and use the bus/shuttle system or is it easy to find parking at the
different venues?

And on a different note, anyone have any great restaurant
recommendations while in Tucson?

Thanks,
Jeff Russell
(a constant lurker and new poster)


#15

Hello Jeff,

You asked about using the shuttles vs. driving yourself around to
the shows. The shuttles are very useful, but you want to plan your
itinerary to make the most efficient use of your time. There are
maps of the shuttle runs at each shuttle stop and in the Show Guide.
Take a little time with the maps and plan your attack. Find a
shuttle “loop” that stops at as many of the shows you want to
attend. Park where you want to end up, so that you can reach your
car conveniently. You’ll be tired and weighed down and a short walk
is desirable!

Some locations (like Rio’s Catalog in Motion) are relatively far
removed and it’s best to drive to them rather than waste time on the
shuttle. Check schedules so that you go to the show when it’s open

  • vendors that observe the Jewish Sabbeth will not be there on
    Saturday. Several shows occur in clusters. I plan my itinerary so
    that I can park within walking distance of several shows. If you
    look at the map, you’ll see what I mean. (Colored Stone Magazine
    makes the Show Guide available at entrances to virtually all the
    shows. If you’re not a subscriber, be sure to get one at your first
    opportunity.) Parking is NOT free in most places, so have a supply
    of bills (fives and dollars).

Other tips from personal experience:

ive has pointed out the need to conveniently carry your purchases.
I use a wheeled backpack. Wonderful item. Although really ugly, a
fanny pack is a secure and convenient way to carry your
money/cards/etc. I take some jerky, a couple apples, a liter of
water, gum, and some hard candies. Who wants to stop for food - eat
during the waits for shuttles or on walks between shows. Just
remember to discard your trash in the proper container. It doesn’t
hurt to have some disposable hand wipes and a few aspirin. Include
a collapsable umbrella; sunglasses on a cord, sunscreen, and a hat
are good too. Probably most important are comfortable walking shoes
and a light jacket.

No doubt you’ll get more advice. Mainly, enjoy yourself. An amazing
experience is ahead!

Judy in Kansas, who is delighted to see the ice melted and anxious to
get to Tucson before the next storm!


#16

Jeff,

I am a big fan of public transportation, and never drive in a
strange city unless I have to. For that matter, I don’t drive in my
home city unless I have to! Nevertheless, I always rented a car when
I traveled to Tucson.

During the day, you can easily pick a show location, park the car,
and use the shuttles to get around. That’s what I usually did. I
would arrive for the early classes at the convention center, park,
hop a shuttle bus to go to shows far away or walk to GJX and the
shows down on the strip, and return to pick up my car as the shows
were winding down.

So why on earth rent a car? Because at least when I was there, five
years ago now (yikes!), once the shows shut down, so did the
shuttles. My first year I didn’t have a car, which limited my
culinary choices to the Carl Jr.'s fast food restaurant next door
unless I could find someone heading for a real restaurant and willing
to cart me along. Getting to receptions and other social events
required serious finangling and something just shy of hitchhiking.

As a result, I always rented a car. Besides, it gave me a wider
choice of hotels, since I wasn’t dependent on shuttles – which
meant I got to stay in a nicer one, with a pool and a hot tub to soak
those aching feet during the pleasantly cool desert evenings.

It may have changed in the last five years, and perhaps the shuttles
run into the wee hours now, but I would be sure you can get around
after 5 p.m. before you decide to ditch the car.

Suzanne

Suzanne Wade
Writer/Editor
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255
@Suzanne_Wade1
http://www.rswade.net


#17

Parking is terrible but the shuttle is excellent.


#18

Suzanne,

I totally agree with you and do drive my car from Oceanside into
Tucson. Yes, drive to the first destination of the day and use the
shuttles from there on, making sure you return to your original
location before the hordes line up for the shuttles.

The end of the day shuttles are overful with people and parcels. It
is beyond convenient to have wheels. Quite a few fly into Phoenix
and rent a car there.

Some know I frequently sleep in my car, and use the YMCA membership
to shower etc. To find a parking space earlier in the day is a lot
easier.

Hope to see many of you again this year.

Hugs
Terrie

PS, my surgically enhanced right eye checked out today, one week
after surgery at 20/15!!!


#19

I carry a hydration backpack when I go to the shows. I throw a tea
bag into the water bag so that I have something flavorful to drink,
and it keeps me drinking without really thinking about it all day
long.

I use a smallish pack that is large enough for my lunch, the show
guide, and not much else, so it isn’t really a burden to wear all
day.

One dealer told me, upon seeing me drinking my tea from the pack,
that she has one as well that she puts on at about 4PM. Instead of
water, she fills hers with white wine. She says that no one can tell
the difference (except her!) and her happy hour starts early, making
her work day all that much shorter!

Karen Olsen Ramsey
http://www.artjeweler.com


#20
 And on a different note, anyone have any great restaurant
recommendations while in Tucson?

I can recommend my favourite place for Mexican food - La Casita in
the Palomino Center, a shopping mall at the SW corner of Swan and
Ft. Lowell. It’s a bit of a drive East of downtown, but the food is
really good, the atmosphere relaxed and civilized, and a very
attractive room (white table cloths, art on the walls, etc.
Reasonable, too. It’s at the back of the center (i.e. The East
end,.) You won’t see it from the street. Parking is right there at
the back. There are also a couple of other restaurants , one is
called Firecracker (Asian/Fusion) quite good, a little pricier, and
a Middle Eastern restaurant - also good, but pricier. It’s a pretty
shopping center, nice for a short stroll after dinner, though shops
will be closed by the time you get out of the shows. Look for a
wonderful craft gallery called “Details and Green Shoelaces”. It’s
on the west end of the mall (visible from Swan), next to Firecracker.
Try to check it out during business hours if you can play a little
hooky. Worth it!