Get Your Gem On at the 2012 Tucson Shows

Get Your Gem On at the 2012 Tucson Gem, Mineral, Jewelry, Fossil, Bead, Crystal, Native American Arts and Crafts, and Rock Shows

2012 brings the 40+ shows, with all the vendors, exhibitors, and customers, back to Tucson.  In spite of the slow economy, 2012 looks to be a strong year.  Record high gold and silver prices enhance the intrinsic and artistic values of many of the pieces.  The weak US dollar makes foreign travel less expensive,  which should increase vendor attendance, as well as sales to visitors, from other countries.

January 24 kicks off the 2012 Tucson show season with the Rock Warehouse Tucson Show.  Many of the shows start on January 27 (nine shows) or January 28 (13 shows).  The majority of shows (21 shows) end on February 11 or February 12.  Get updates on shows here.  Many people stay a bit longer, as there are less formal after-shows, with opportunities to make last minute purchases at reduced prices.

With increased attendance comes more pressure on Tucson’s scarcest resource: quality lodging.  Hotel rates generally double or even triple during the shows, with room rates ranging  from $75-$100 single, plus taxes, at the modest motels lining I-10 near downtown.  These hotels are very convenient to many of the shows, as the shows are often located on the hotel grounds.  Of course, this makes for a tradeoff—enabling attendees to be right on top of the action, but also subject to show and freeway noise, lack of storage space in the small basic motel rooms, and higher crime potential in these neighborhoods.

Because of these concerns, many vendors and exhibitors have reservations about motels, and are making reservations instead in other, better lodging alternatives.  Often, privately owned holiday condo vacation rentals, timeshares, bed and breakfasts, corporate housing, and even room shares in private homes, can provide attendees with much better accommodations, at prices not much higher than a basic motel room.  Many rentals include full or partial kitchens, in-room laundry facilities, and enhanced resort amenities such as golf, tennis, recreation centers, and pools.  One big practical benefit of picking a furnished condo over a motel room is bigger square footages.  Condo rentals are typically 2 or 3 times larger than motel rooms, enabling secure storage of vendor wares.

Condominium offerings can be found on Craigslist, Ebay Classifieds, and vacation owner websites.  You should expect to pay $100-$150 per night for a furnished studio or one bedroom condominium rented from an owner.  But, show attendees will find savings here: by cooking some meals, sharing condo space with friends, making use of the free laundry, internet, telephone calls, and expanded amenities, and best of all, spending less on the suite itself–because most condo listings include any applicable taxes in the rental price (while, hotels add 10-15% taxes to their prices).

Many vendors and exhibitors choose to stay in the Starr Pass area, just west of downtown.  This scenic area in the Tucson Mountain foothills offers luxury accommodations in a quiet setting overlooking the city lights.  Yet, lodging in this area is no more than 10 minutes from most of the I-10 shows.  This convenience is enhanced by the recent I-10 widening work, now completed.  Starr Pass Golf Suites is a favorite resort, with lovely southwestern style casita condo vacation rentals. This resort has tennis, golf, an Olympic sized swimming pool, and free Wifi internet.  Rates, including taxes, for the entire show period range from $122 per night for the studios and $159 per night for the 1BRs.

To get you oriented, check out the list of shows, with show dates and website links:

January 24—February 10, 2012

The Rock Warehouse Tucson Show

January 26 – February 11, 2012

22nd Street Mineral, Fossil & Gem Show

January 27 – February 7, 2012

JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show

January 27 – February 11, 2012

GIGM Show – Clarion Gem & Mineral Show (formerly La Quinta)
GIGM Show – Globe-X Gem & Mineral Show
GIGM Show – Howard Johnson Gem & Mineral Show
Granada Avenue Mineral Show

January 27 – February 12, 2012

1820 Oracle Wholesale Show
African Art Village
Tucson Showplace
Rock, Gem & Lapidary Show
Rapa River Gem & Mineral Show

January 28 – February 9, 2012

Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show

January 28 – February 10, 2012

G&LW Tucson Gem Show – Gem Mall
GIGM Show – Grant Inn Gem & Mineral Show

January 28 – February 11, 2012

Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show / Hotel Tucson City Center-formerly InnSuites Hotel
Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show / Mineral & Fossil Marketplace
Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show / Quality Inn

Arizona Mineral & Fossil Show / Ramada Limited

JG&M Exposition / Michigan Street
JG&M Exposition / Simpson Street
Mineral & Fossil Co-op
Main Avenue Mineral & Fossil Show
Tucson Electric Park
Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show

The Rock Show This show used to be called Tucson Electric Park RV Gem Show

January 29 – February 3, 2012

To Bead True Blue

January 29- February 11, 2012

The Fine Minerals International Show

January 29 – February 13, 2012

American Indian Exposition

January 30 – February 5, 2012

GLDA Tucson Gem Show

January 30 – February 7, 2012

Jewelry and Gem Expo New!

January 31 – February 5, 2012

AGTA GemFair™ Tucson
GJX Gem & Jewelry Show

February 1 – 5, 2012

Best Bead Show

February 1 – 6, 2012

Whole Bead Show

February 2 – 10, 2012

G&LW Tucson Gem Show – Holidome

February 3 – 6, 2012

Westward Look Mineral Show

February 4 – 6, 2012

Tucson Bead Show

February 9 – 12, 2012

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™