Past NEACA Member Letters

Before 2010

December 11, 2009

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

“The fastest and easiest move-in we’ve ever had,” was a comment given about our last Arms Fair in Saratoga.  “I was worried about the construction but you did real well,” was another.  Thank you all for your understanding that all problems can be solved with patience.  Our Saratoga Show on January 29, 30 & 31, coming right up, will be the same move in and out as October.  Those of you with special needs, call us.  Kindly send in your signed applications as soon as possible.

Our March Arms Fair, for this year only, is going to be a little different; again because of construction and scheduling conflicts at the City Center.  The upcoming dates on the flier are not an error, we will not have a Sunday, instead our show will be a Thursday evening and Friday morning setup with Friday and Saturday show.  A little different I know but we have some new things planned and all will be fine; full show details in the next letter.

Cathy has arranged for some great hotel rates for our January, Saratoga Springs Arms Fair with many extending to March, they are; Hampton Inn, $119 with hot breakfast, 584-2100; Courtyard by Marriott, $109, hot breakfast available for $9.95, 226-0538; Saratoga Hilton, $95, (adjoins City Ctr.) 584-4000; BEST BUY, Hilton Garden Inn, $89 with hot breakfast cooked to order, 587-1500, (reservation link on NEACA.com); Holiday Inn, $89, restaurant, (reservation link on NEACA.com) 584-4550; Saratoga Downtowner, $89, (walking distance) 584-6160; Grand Union Hotel, $79, 2 dbl. beds, 584-9000.  You must ask for NEACA ARMS FAIR RATE. All area code 518.  If you don’t have the numbers or addresses from prior mailings, please call us.

Again, we are back in Lake George for their Winter Carnival Festival, on Sunday February 28th.  A little later than normal but always a fun little show, flier is enclosed.  For the last couple of months we have been asked if we are still doing this show, so here it is.  Send in your application.  As with all of our shows, all we ask is that you send in a one table deposit to reserve your space so we know who is coming, then follow up with balance at least two weeks prior to our show date.  Pretty easy!  And it makes our job much easier so we can concentrate on promotion and advertising.

Our Utica Auditorium date needed to be changed to one week later than normal because of Easter, so our enclosed flier is for April 10 and 11.  We have been setting about 200 tables on the floor but have room for 350.  With Utica now as an annual event, we should start filling the hall.  Utica is a very historic gun area where the old Savage Arms plant stood, Utica Cutlery, and still a large Remington Arms facility only a few miles away in Ilion.  Lots of stuff comes in and hunters and shooting clubs abound.  Send in your flier ASAP; we will follow up with some hotel deals in your confirmation.

Last October many of our exhibitors found out how good going to Old Forge was.  A great area and a fine new show.  In 2010 we have committed to May 15 & 16 and again on October 2 & 3, same weekend as past show.  We again will have some special motel rates in our next letter.  We also have room for 160, 8ft. tables and we want to fill them all.  Tell your friends how nice it was and how profitable.  May flier is enclosed; note the October date on your calendar.

Some of you have heard rumors about a new NEACA gun show in the greater NY Capital District area and now we can tell you it is true and we have dates.  For several years we have been talking with the owners of Sportsplex of Halfmoon about an Arms Fair in their modern facility off Route 9 in Clifton Park.  We have just signed a contract for two shows per year in their Astro-turf complex.  We have room for about 800, 8ft. tables but will lay it out comfortably for 750 and about 30, 8 X 10 booths.  They just hosted a home show there last month and put through over 5000 people, so the parking and traffic flow is certainly there.  This is a modern steel building and because of the turf floor, there needs to be a few precautions such as no driving up to your table, but there are many side entrances and we will have carts and gun bearers available. Our 2010 dates are, May 21, 22, 23 and September 24, 25, 26 with setup from 10AM to 5PM on Friday.  We will be open for members and special prepaid admissions on Friday from 5:15 to 8:15, doors close at 9PM.  A restaurant is on premises.  Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 9 to 3 will be our normal weekend times.  Table costs will be $80/$70 for NEACA members with some special 5 and 7 table end caps available.  Keeping the floor clean and your area clear of garbage and debris will be a vendor responsibility and why this negotiation took years.  This is a great opportunity to have this size show in the fastest growing area of New York State, with low unemployment because of the NY State Capital and very high per capita income.  This will be the largest show in the northeast except for Syracuse and possibly West Springfield.  But the area it is in will be unsurpassed and the facility will be of a much higher comfort zone.  Heat and air conditioning, great lighting and cushioned floor sound great to my body and feet.  I know it will be to yours.

Fliers are not yet ready but we will have them at our January show in Saratoga, with motel deals and other details.  If you want to be in the front section of public entrance you must have guns or high quality collectibles and, of course, first come, first served.  We will accept deposits with a note of intent prior to our fliers being out.  We plan on a major campaign for these shows.  Saratoga is still always the place to be, no matter the season.  But this new Clifton Park show, ten miles north of Albany, near I-87, will be a show of the season and the reason for our being.  Be there!  Please spread the word.

Now some sad news, one of our long time members lost his battle with cancer November 26th, Wes Hurd of Elizabethtown, NY passed on.  Wes was a real outdoorsman, being a hunter, gun enthusiast and NYS Forest Ranger for over 20 years.  A nice man, Wes will be missed.  Also passing on November 27th, was Phyllis Chamberlaine, wife and partner of 50 years to long time member and gun dealer, Jack Chamberlaine of Gloversville, NY.  Our condolences go to Jack and to both families for their loss.  All too many of our friends have gone but they are at that everlasting fair in Heaven.

Not nearly as bad news but a necessary evil, is that we must revamp our NEACA membership costs.  For many years we have been telling you all that joining our New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates was a bargain and a joy.  In fact, every time we took a new member we potentially lost four times its value to show attendees and ten times value for exhibitors.  We no longer can absorb the loss for continuing the benefits at $25 annual renewal.  Especially with the introduction of two new shows in Old Forge and two in Clifton Park.  We either have to disband the membership or increase the fee as of April 1st, 2010 to $50 for new memberships with $45, 12 month renewal.  Spouse or Junior, $12 additional.  For current members, as of January 1, 2011, renewals will be $45.  Please forward your email address to sales@neaca.com for further details.  We do hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Cathy & Dave


October 10, 2009

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

          The Adirondacks were in full color, the wild whitetails ate from your hand, the restaurants were excellent and our exhibitors made money – our first Old Forge Gun Show was a success.  We’ll be back in the Spring and Fall of next year. Our scheduled dates are the weekends of May 15 & 16 and October 2 & 3.  We will have special motel rates and probably have the same flyer info for dealers as this past weekend show.

Our normal Utica Gun Show date falls on Easter weekend this April so we are now set for the following weekend of April 10 & 11 for our show at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, AUD as it is known.  Again, we start with 200 tables on the floor with room for 325 plus sporting booths.  We plan on this as an annual event.

Our one day Winter Carnival show in Lake George at the Holiday Inn had a fine turn out and attendance last February and we are in process of confirming a date for this February.  That show always seems to be a “cabin fever” event and coincides with winter tourism so we generally do some brisk business there.  Will keep you posted.

Over the past year many facility directors have called us as promoters and asked that we come and look at their location to produce a gun show.  We have visited several and need to see others, we discovered the Old Forge location in just such a way.  We still hesitate to engage in a new show simply for the sake of filling up an open weekend somewhere.  Rather, we strive to find a good reason to create a new show and only do so when we feel there is a need and a benefit to all involved.  At our ages none of us need new things to do but we all may enjoy a new venue with potential monetary or inventory gain.  This is what we strive for in promoting our NEACA events; Old Forge is an example of that policy as is our annual show in Utica.

Now on to Saratoga, October 31 and November 1 weekend.  Halloween is Saturday evening so it should not interfere with taking the kids out “trick or treating”.  If you wish to dress the part during our Friday preview or Saturday show time, please feel free – a prize may be awarded but no guarantee! 

The bad news is that the Atrium unloading practice will be unavailable for the next several months.  It was pretty easy to just pull up and roll things out these past 26 years, this year will be a bit different but completely manageable, all due to the construction to expand the City Center.  When we get through with some minor inconvenience of the expansion the ease of access will return and a bigger and better City Center will be the result, even better food services are in the works. 

To alleviate some of the perceived problems imagined by some of our exhibitors we will extend our access hours.  Our show will be fully set up on Thursday so we will open for exhibitors at 11:30 AM and remain open until 9PM.  The City Center has hired porters to bring dealers merchandise into the building at the rear loading docks.  Vans or trucks can load directly onto the operational elevator dock area.  They have used this process with several prior shows, including one with heavy and bulky athletic equipment and the Director assures me all went well. 

There is also a new gradual incline ramp for wheeled carts that has been built near the front stairs of the City Center for access of merchandise.  Again porters will be available for handling carts going into and out of this area.  The extra time allotted and manpower available will be quite satisfactory for a smooth operation.  Will it be different than what we are all accustomed to?  Yes.  Will this difference irritate several people who can’t manage any change in life style?  Probably.  Will our show go on and be a success as it has been for many prior years?  Yes, it will.  Patience and understanding that we, Cathy and I, always look out for our dealers should be guarantee enough that all will work well.

With the knowledge that each of you who have done business with us in the past and know how we operate you should have no fear that anything will be insurmountable.  A bit different yes, perhaps even more time consuming initially, but certainly we should all have as an enjoyable weekend as has come to be expected at our Saratoga Arms Fairs.  It will still remain, always, the “place to be”. 

What we would like, however, especially with the extra set up time, is that you as exhibitors, set up on Friday, enjoy our food buffet and remain open for business for our NEACA members to at least 8PM.  With this letter we are notifying members now that they can come in on Friday evening from 5:30, a bit earlier than the flier states, until 9PM so that they may enjoy the benefits of commeraderie and early buying.  We fully expect exhibitors' inventory to be uncovered and available for that purpose.  Saratoga is the only viable Friday evening sales show left.

We have received many new memberships over the last several months, some of whom have never been to our Saratoga Show, please make them feel welcome and comfortable, in turn they will gladly make purchases on Friday evening.  Those exhibitors and members whose dues are up, check mailing label, please send your renewals in today.  If you are over the 15 day grace period send $30 instead of $25 for timely renewal.

Also, if you are not an exhibitor but are a current member coming to our October show, I don’t want to see you prior to 5:30 on Friday, there will be no exceptions, don’t make me have a guard escort you out; dealer set up time is for table holders only!  With your  application please remember to sign the reverse, no badges will be sent without a signature.  Also, write out full names for any additional badge you may need, include your own.  Cathy needs to get all these things done prior to our show. 

We again have new exhibitors coming to Saratoga as well as our normal dealer base so we seem to be heading for an early sell out.  If you intend to come I suggest getting your application in the mail, post haste.  This mailing is more a courtesy, not a necessity.  It is intended to give you important information with future show dates and we hope you will act upon them.  Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness Cathy and I  remain committed to bringing all of you fine events and enjoyable weekends.  Thank you all very much for your kind and continued support.

Cathy & David Petronis


August 5, 2009

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

  Doesn’t look like we’ll be hosting the annual NEACA Clam Steam and Gun Show at the Old Mill Restaurant any time soon.  Their lawyer just isn’t playing the game we like.  “Walk away if the deal isn’t right,” emphasizes Donald Trump.  The final draft wasn’t right for us so we let our feet do the talking.

But, we are always working on something and we can announce a new Adirondack Gun Show.  We just finalized a deal for this October 2, 3 & 4 at the fairly new George T. Hiltebrant Recreation Center in Old forge, NY.  We have been working on this for quite some time and we are very happy with the location, the facility and the time period.  We are also planning on another there the first weekend in August of 2010 and again in October.  Put the dates on your calendar and see our enclosed flier.

If you haven’t been to the Old Forge area you are missing a wonderful trip, get to it by Route 28 from east or west.  This is the Central Adirondack Park Region where the mountains are home to serene woodlands and deep blue lakes.  Fishing, boating and hunting are a way of life in summer thru fall while skiing and snowmobiles rule the trails in winter.  What a wonderful area of our majestic north country.

Things to do in the area seem endless, like simply relaxing in a motel on the beach to riding the rails on the Adirondack Scenic Railway from Utica Station to Old Forge or on to Otter Lake.  The Enchanted Forest and Water Safari runs mid-June through Labor Day plus has cabins and camps for rent year round.  There are many motels throughout the area and we have stayed at the Waters’ Edge Inn, call them at 315-369-2484.  Last time we were there the White Tail Deer were under our balcony looking for handouts!  The whole area will be busy so make your plans today and send in your application.  Go to the Town website at www.oldforgeny.com.  There is also plenty of room at the Recreation Center for self contained campers or RV’s but there is no electric or outside restrooms.

Rooms are pricey in Old Forge because of the constant activity; the area is similar to Lake George but much nicer without the hustle and bustle; $100 to $150 a night is common for the prime seasons.  However, we have made an arrangement with the Adirondack Lodge, they have 52 units with indoor pool, cable TV, in-room refrigerators and coffee makers, free breakfast, internet, etc. – a very nice motel recently remodeled – we got a great rate for our NEACA exhibitors at $xx.00 plus tax.  Reserve early!  Ask for “XXXXX Gun Show rate.” (See Mailed Letter)

Also enclosed are our fliers for Saratoga Springs in August and October.  We still have tables for August because motel rooms are hard to come by.  This is Traverse Weekend at the Race Course so an extra 60,000 folks will be about town.  We wanted our summer show to be as close to September as possible and this is just a week before Labor Day and back to school sales.  Should be a very busy show.  If you haven’t sent in yet do so today, full payment is due 2 weeks prior to the show.

As usual we will accept one table deposits for our other upcoming events, such as Old forge and Saratoga on October 30, 31 and November 1.  This will be another sellout so don’t wait if you expect to get your same table location or any tables for that matter.  Construction on the City Center expansion plans won’t be before the August show so all is the same as for loading and all else.  Possibly they may start prior to our October event – but who knows!  Whenever they begin, it will all work out for a better and somewhat bigger event at Saratoga, always the place to be.

We will have gun bearers available working for tips in August, use them and make life easier.  We will host our Friday evening preview as usual and Cathy is cooking her goulash, we will make a green salad, have our pizza, wings and drinks for exhibitors at 5:30 then members come in from 6 to 8 PM.  We do this so you will stay and be open for our members, make some money and enjoy fine camaraderie.  We don’t appreciate having closed tables on Friday evening and neither do members who drive an hour or so to buy on Friday.  We expect you to be open at least until 7:30 or 8 PM.  We do a lot for you so do a little for us.

Which reminds me, some of you send the entire flyer back to us as an application, news flash, we don’t need it!  Cut the bottom off, sign the reverse, send it with payment.  Take the remaining flyer and put it in your local Stewart’s Shop, Gun Club, at work bulletin board, gas station, super market or give it to the next guy you are talking to about guns and such.  Some exhibitors actually make copies and post them; other guys seem to not have a clue.  Do a little; get a lot back while advertising YOUR show. 

Our holiday show in Saratoga has been tough to fill but we’ve had very good sales from the public so we wanted to keep the time period.  Other than dates very near Christmas, which didn’t work out for many exhibitors, we opted for the last weekend of January 29, 30, 31, 2010.  It is the weekend following the Albany show so it will get exposure there also.  The winter is always a good time for Gun Shows, with Cabin Fever and such.  Our March show is always a sell-out even against Baltimore and a lot of dealers want to do our show in March but ….?  Well, this January event show will accommodate that urge.  Now is your chance boys, to come to Saratoga in the best show season.  Our flier will be out in the next mailing or on our Secretary’s Table at our current shows. 

We will be in Clayton this month at their Rotary sponsored show on August 15 & 16 so possibly we’ll see you there.  It is a good place to promote our new Old Forge Gun Show, as well as Syracuse on September 19 & 20.  Don’t be shut out of tables at Old Forge and bargain rate rooms; call the motel today and send us a deposit for the show.  We are only ordering 125 tables for this first show.

See you’al soon and have a great August.

Cathy & Dave


May 17, 2009

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

We have been busy, busy, busy with lots of folks wanting to sell us stuff.  We hear other type businesses complain that nothing is moving but most gun shop owners are griping about not being able to get enough things to sell.  Ammunition in military calibers, military style guns and accessories and hand guns in general are all hard to find because distributors themselves are out of stock.  What a time to be us.

Like Clinton during the 90’s, with his ban on gun imports, the current pres has also stimulated a lot of fear.  One would expect BO to be stinky but who knew how he was going to be so good for our business, at least for now.  The common folks are worried about who will protect their families and property combined with worry about whether they can buy a gun or ammunition in the future; they see neighbors losing jobs while their own fortunes disappear – is it any wonder why gun sales are sky rocketing? 

Your next chance to cash in is at our new little Arms Fair we have put together for Sunday, June 7th at the Old Mill Restaurant in Stillwater.  This riverside venue sits half way between the City of Mechanicville and the Village of Stillwater, on Routes 4 & 32, which run along the west shore of the Hudson River.  A flyer is enclosed and we are already half sold out through a few phone calls and word of mouth.  We’ll also have some breakfast and lunch specials along with a full bar.  Just like our great little Holiday Inn, Lake George Show, this should be fun and profitable.  By the way, we had just over 350 paid admissions there last February.  Will any of your shops see that many potential buyers on a Sunday?  Give us a call.

Speaking of shows ---- how ‘bout that March Saratoga Arms Fair?  We sold the most tables ever with all nooks and crannies full, another sell out and the attendance was terrific, wall to wall elbows right to the end.  We had a great show!  However, some of you called too late to get tables, we were basically sold out two weeks ahead of time so don’t wait to send in for our August show, do it now.  All we ask is a one table deposit and payment of balance two weeks prior to our show date.  Please check your mailing label for member renewal date.

Our Saratoga fliers for August and October are also enclosed and you will notice we have moved to the end of August and again have the Halloween weekend dates.  Note also that we have deposited for another January show but this time, instead of the first weekend, on the last, after the Albany show.  I think this will be a very good schedule at Saratoga for the rest of the year.  Beginning this summer there is supposed to be some construction on the City Center that will allow them needed expansion.  We can only wait and see and work around the plans, I don’t anticipate any big problems but simply a little bother and probably a much better facility when it’s done. 

I mentioned busy; we’ve been working on getting our house finally finished and our shop building needs some attention, like roof repair and new bathrooms.  Opportunities for buying merchandise and guns while sales have been steady when we can get the right items.  We re-joined the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, found some new advertising venues, did an hour radio interview about gun sales on WGY with Al Roney, did a TV interview along with a few newspapers, all while trying to lose weight and look dashing.  But all in all, SOS, same old stuff going on.  We hope all of you are as well as we think we are. 

Incidentally you can hear my radio interview on our web site at NEACA.com and you can also follow me on “Twitter” where I can alert the membership and exhibitors to anything new happening. 

Cathy and I are certainly doing our part to keep the economy chugging along, managing to spend what dollars come in – sometimes a bit more.  Did I mention we’re in the process of buying a turn-key restaurant?  That is, if the lawyers manage to write what I speak as a contract, thoughts seem to get lost in the translation.  Then the paper work, inspections and, oh yeh, I’m trying to get the bank to be my partner for a while, as I said, SOS.

As usual, lots of energy and ideas, so little time.  As you can see, we’re always trying to move ahead, step by step; we hope all of you are doing the same – hopefully with more speed.  All will be well in time, always is, send money – giving makes you feel better, so I’m told.

Happy turkey hunting – God knows there are enough of them out there.

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave


January 18, 2009

The year 2008 is behind us and what a year it was, from the down turn of the economy to the historic election.  As rough as the past year was, it seemed to strengthen family ties and wake a lot of us up to what really matters.  I’m sure many of you can relate.

Besides the decline in internet business, there was a rude awakening to the affects of the economic climate when our one son was notified a week before our October 31, November 1 & 2 Saratoga Springs Arms Fair that his employer, who provides retail software solutions for small and mid-sized retailers, would be laying off employees because of a reduced demand for their product in these trying economic times.  He was one of the lucky ones.  He didn’t get laid off but had to take a major cut in pay.  Before the end of the year he landed a new position at another company making more money than before his cut and he begins this new adventure on February 1st.  A blessing in disguise?  Our other son who formed his own company in 2007, also in the technology industry, saw a decline in business towards the end of 2008 but it started to pick right back up after the first of 2009.  Our son-in-law was hearing rumors of major job cuts, layoffs and decreases in pay at the company that purchased the G E Silicone Products division but so far things seem to be a little bit more stable with the exception of some cuts in pay and lack of overtime.

My parents lost a home in the Great Depression while feeding and caring for 7 children at the time and managed to instill in all 10 of us a great work ethic and to always have faith that things will get better.  I just wanted to give a little perspective.

The September and October Saratoga Springs shows were far below expectations as far as dealer participation.  It was the first time in a decade that we didn’t fill the hall.  The dealers who were set up were quite happy with the amount of business they did.

Our January 2nd, 3rd and 4th show although also short on dealers, had great public attendance and they were spending.  A lot of guns were sold as well as reference books and all kinds of “stuff”. It was like a “Cabin Fever” show amplified.

And speaking of cabin fever, our Lake George show at the Holiday Inn Turf is coming up before we know it, on Sunday February 8th.  The staff there welcomes us each year and seems to enjoy having us as much as we enjoy being there.  Those of you who have been there before, either as dealers or visitors, will remember the great breakfast, lunch and dinner TR’s restaurant serves without having to set foot off the premises.

The March Saratoga Springs Arms Fair is coming right along.  You will find a flier enclosed even though there was one in our December mailing.  If you want tables, send in at least a one table deposit.  We have a lot of new dealers contacting us and they’ve already submitted table applications.  Have been contacted by a representative from the new Hampton Inn and Suites, situated a block away from the City Center offering a rate of $119 per night for the March show.  That includes a hot breakfast in the morning and is a beautiful new hotel.

Applications are also coming in for our Utica Memorial Auditorium show in April.  That should run smoothly this time.  Don’t forget the easy unloading even in miserable weather.  We’ve got a great rate at the Hotel Utica.  They pleaded with us to give them one more chance, especially with the restaurant scheduling and staffing.  Hope most of you will join us for that show.

On a sadder note, Bill Welburn, who with his wife Harriet set up at many of our Saratoga Springs shows over the years, passed away in December.  He will really be missed.  Some of you might remember their going out of business sale of their Lone Pine, Ltd. At our March, 2008 Saratoga show.  We know that Harriet will surely miss him even more than us because they were a team, just like Dave and I.

On the plus side of this economic mess are the lower heating prices and less sticker shock at the pump.  Heck, we might even consider a trip south at the end of income tax season.

In closing we wish you all a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year.

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave Petronis


November 28, 2008

Turkey Day is over – let the sales begin!  After all the carnage at the mall parking lots and confrontation in the shopping aisles who will relax as the victors come the end of December?  Will it be the “sales struck” shoppers or the “deeply discounted” department stores?  When all the dust and fallout settles from this merriment and mayhem, we can only hope we’ll have a few dollars left to pay the bills and the sales force will still have their jobs in January.  Change may be coming but no one is quite certain of how.

I did an hour long interview with question and answer segment earlier in the month with Al Rooney, morning host on WGY Radio.  The subject was the increase in gun sales spurred on by Obama’s rise to the White House; quite interesting and a lot of fun.  The marked increase in self protection and home defense firearms sales in the Southern and Western parts of the US seemed not to be as much in evidence here in the Northeast, though as time goes by I think the trend in sales is now emerging in our area as well.  Just in time for our next Arms Fair in Saratoga Springs on January 2, 3 & 4, 2009.

If you can find any used home defense shotguns, lightweight handguns or “black guns” better pick them up ‘cause the distributors seem to be running out of new ones.  Personally, I’ll stick with my investor grade pieces, a lot better place to put money in than the stock market.  Record sales have been seen at the auction houses this past year.  We also have added our first “banner ad” on our website, NEACA.com, for Rock Island Auction; check their next offerings of some fine firearms with a simple “click” on their ad.

We will have our January show, and we do have a lot of table deposits but we did not get enough ticket sales for our Dinner and Auction to be a successful event, so Cathy and I decided to cancel it for that Saturday evening of January 3rd.  To continue with nearly a $5000 investment without at least fifty tickets sold was not something we wanted to do during these uncertain times.  Anyone who deposited for tickets can have a refund or put the money towards future shows.

What we have decided on and contracted for, are our three main show times in Saratoga for 2009, March 20, 21 & 22; August 28, 29 & 30 and October 30, 31 & November 1.  You now know the dates so we would like to know who will commit for tables at those shows, please forward at least a $25.00 deposit for tables as soon as you can.  We will also be in Utica on April 3, 4 & 5, which will no doubt evolve to be our annual event time there.  We want to expand into the upper areas with outdoor sporting and guide service booths so if you know of any prospects please give out the information or get in touch with us.  Generally an 8’ X 10’ booth will run about $110.  We will also have a special rate at the Utica Hotel.

Enclosed are our current fliers, including our annual Winter Carnival Show at Holiday Inn on Lake George, Sunday February 8th.  Plan your full 2009 schedule with us now so we can concentrate on promotion, new prospects and new areas. Please don’t forget to post our fliers, talk to friends about our shows and renew your memberships.

A few new venues have contacted us about shows at their locations and we get calls like these throughout the year, so we are always exploring both old and new locations for the future.  No different in 2009; we are looking for good show locations or reviving some old ones.  Just to let you all know that NEACA will be around for many years to come.  With over twenty-six years behind us it is near impossible to ignore the future and over a quarter century of the past.

Well, we got an earful from the members when we expressed our thoughts about Friday nights and our early entries.  We tried to enlighten the membership that we may be losing table sales from “exhibitor members” ~ “life members” ~ who used to take tables but now only come in to “buy”.  All well and good for the guy who shows up Friday, partakes of the food and drink, runs thru and grabs the early bargains and leaves.  This “member” brings nothing to the show, reaps all of our hard work for their own benefit and is gone for the weekend.  I’d like that lifestyle too – but I have too much class for me to do it that way.  When I go to a show, I pay my way, pay my dues and do the time – the whole time and add to the show, not just take from it.  Somehow boys, that “only Friday night fever” philosophy has got to change!

An awful lot has been said about “change” these past months, from our country, our economy and now our shows.  Perhaps the more appropriate words to use are “getting back to basics” or looking to the past for tried and true simplifications.  With the “gun grabbers” now in power in our State and in Washington there may well be some changes coming.  We want to prepare to be on solid ground with our shows, their venues, with our dedicated members and exhibitors.  Getting back to basic principles of show promotion and early dealer commitments is the change I want to see.

One last thought on our Friday evening previews.  We began these many years ago, which provided an opportunity for the “member exhibitors” to have a chance to buy and trade among themselves, not having to rush out to find food or a drink but rather to converse and gather in a “collectors comradery.”  We had people bringing in food – hell, I remember Steve Svitek bringing in cases of wine, for free, to our old Kingston Armory shows – or Dave and Inez Harris setting up a whole kitchen for us in Peekskill – or members wives bringing in cakes or cookies for deserts or macaronis for our previews; things like that just don’t occur any more.

Through the years Cathy has expanded her work to nearly a full week of preparation and purchases for these Friday evening previews; it has now become a monster that is getting rough to manage alone or even with the help I can give.  We will continue our normal activity for this January show but without some real commitment for help at future shows, this may come to be a casualty of the times – and old age.  As goes the preview will also be the death knell of Friday evening activities in general, I’m afraid.  We would like this to continue but we really need help.

No one else is allowed to do what we do and have done for over twenty-five years at the City Center.  It is grandfathered as “this is what we do!”  The cooperation and dedication of about the finest group of people that we have had the pleasure to work with is unbelievable.  From the director, Mark Baker who I first saw and made a deal with over a hole in the ground, to the people who clean the rest rooms, they are all top notch and we thank them for providing us the opportunity “to do what we do” to make Saratoga Springs, NY and the City Center Arms Fair in particular the place that our members and exhibitors always wish to return to.  Truly, Saratoga is the place to be.

God bless you all, may Peace and Happiness be yours in this turbulent time and may you prosper in the coming years.   Merry Christmas and Have a Very Happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Cathy and Dave


October 5, 2008 

           The headlines could read “Bailout Just a Band-Aid” and “Barracuda Bites Biden,” catchy phrases but even the political pundits nor Wall Street analysts have any answers for the economy or the coming election.  Now the wonder is whether a terrorist strike somewhere in the world against US interests is eminent in October.  Regardless of the supposed 75% of people who dislike President Bush, remember he has kept terrorism on our shores at bay during his watch.  A McCain comfortability package is a lot more comforting to me than someone named Barrack Hussein Obama whose liberal tenets and questionable friends could take us in a direction our kid’s children may have to dig us out of.

Doom and gloom aside, it seems we all may have to adjust a little in the coming year, at least the cost of oil is dropping and Wall Street fat cats are happy.  Joyous too were our gun dealers who attended the last Saratoga September show; we all did very well in sales as did most all other dealers.  Though our knife dealer friends from the NCCA sold enough to be satisfied we all know that there were many, many other events giving dealers and public an alternate place to go on a wonderful sunny weekend.  However, the folks who came to Saratoga came to buy …. And they did.

Well, another dealer’s choice is being dealt for our normal Halloween weekend show on October 31, Nov 1 & 2.  We will be keeping this date in the future along with the third weekend in March at the City Center in Saratoga Springs.  Make up your minds as to where you want to be and whom you wish to associate with.  We tried to bring back at least one antique show to Saratoga, the November date, but with the sparcity of dealers who responded early, we announced that the date would change to a regular Arms Fair with sporting and Adirondack antiques allowed.  The flyer is enclosed and we are about half sold out.  Please send in your application now, there is little time left.  There are no guaranteed locations unless a prior deposit was made and no tables will be assigned a location without a paid application in my hand.

Our 2009 schedule in Saratoga is the January 2, 3 and 4 Arms Fair, Dinner and Auction, our March 20, 21, 22 Arms Fair as well as October 30, 31 and November 1.  We also have our single date in Utica on April 3, 4, 5 and will probably do Lake George on Sunday, February 8th.  Member renewals for October 1st are out but some of you have not responded as yet; please check your mailing label for due date.  For our next show please note that members will only be allowed in at 5PM on Friday, no earlier unless you have a table at the show.  Badges will only be given to table holders and bona fide employees or immediate family.

Be aware that for 2009 and the future we are considering dropping our Friday member preview and only allowing table holders to be in attendance on Friday.  Cathy and I put a lot of extra work into Friday evening and it seems there is little appreciation but rather an expectation and demand to have things ready on time.  After 25 years of trying to do the right thing for our shows and our exhibitors, it appears to have had little effect on generating loyalty but from only a very few dependable friends and dealers.  This upcoming show in November and our count of dinner tickets sold for January will be a deciding factor on how we move forward.

Speaking of January, again we will have a dinner and auction at the Saratoga Hilton on January 3rd beginning at 6PM.  Last year’s event was a very nice affair with prizes, silent auction and live auction with some great buys.  Tickets will again be $35.00 in advance and members may submit an item for either the Silent or Live auction but well in advance of the event.  Ask me about details.  SPECIAL DEAL; two dinner tickets and a show table for $125.00 PRIOR to October 31st.

Did I say prizes?  Our 25th Anniversary Show in September was the place for dealers to get them.  We had a ticket for every table holder present, one for each table purchased.  When a ticket was drawn the winner then drew a numbered ticket for a prize.  The Pachislo Gaming Machine went down to the very last prize given out; luck of the draw went to Dave Karnes.  Cindy Franks won a $55.00 afghan, Jim McCormick a $20 bill for gas, Rich Pelzer a $100 bill just for fun, plus hotel room, dining gifts and many more were doled out.  It was great fun for us giving back some of our good fortune derived from these many years of shows.  It made a memorable Friday evening filled with camaraderie, fun and food and the weekend business was icing on the cake.  Hell, even I sold five great guns, no discounts!  And lots of guns came in the door, along with some fantastic antiques and collector pieces.  I won’t go into detail except noting the two flintlock matched sets of pistols, the Sharps target rifle, the Springfield Arms revolver, an unidentified large European Revolver, etc., etc.  Some went home; a few are my new friends.  We had a couple of new dealers and one took an order for an $8500.00 Barrett.  As I’ve always said, Saratoga is the place to be.

For the November show we have a few hotel deals if you mention our Saratoga NEACA Arms Fair.  From the high end Marriott Courtyard just north of the City Center at $139.00, to the Grand Union on the south end of Broadway at $79.00 to midway at either the St Charles or St Francis at $55.00 you have quite a choice. The Saratoga Hilton deal for January is $75.00 for dinner ticket holders.

One of the dealers from the North Country has informed me about a crackdown by the NYS troopers on exhibitors at gun shows who are not going through the NICS check.  It seems a small show was targeted both inside and in the parking lot for gun deals occurring without NICS authorization.  As you all should be well aware of, any gun sale originating from a gun show has to go through the Federal NICS check.  If you are not a FFL holder then you must process the sale through a dealer and there will most likely be a fee for the time and paperwork.  Most of the public knows it and is prepared for it.  You must give or sell a locking devise with a gun sale along with an approved NY statement and instruction of safe handling.  At Saratoga and Utica we will provide that full service for $25.00 per gun transfer.  If you sell a gun to someone and try to be cute by delivering it to your car, don’t be surprised when a Trooper shows a badge and a warrant.  And if Obama gets in I’m sure it will be even worse if we can sell at all.

The other way to get into trouble is acting as a gun dealer from behind the table and buying guns from the public without going through a FFL holder or a NICS check.  Anyone coming into the show with a firearm can only sell it to a FFL dealer or go through a dealer.  Your license must be displayed on the table if you buy and sell guns or you must go through a FFL holder.  This is the law of the land now and we will have to abide by it so consider yourself notified and reminded.

On the other hand, good hunting, turkey season is open!

Cathy & Dave   


August 8, 2008

Dear Members and Exhibitors, 

When Cathy and I started our NEACA Group and organized our first little show in Mechanicville, NY our son David was 15 years old and helped out.  Today is his 42nd birthday on a date none of us will see again, 08/08/08, Happy Birthday David.  How time does move along while you’re not watching.  Our kids have all grown with lives of their own and no longer do I have free help at home, or at our shows.  It is just Cathy and me ---- and all you exhibitors who really make our shows a success.

Well, this past August in Saratoga, at least we all tried.  Another show down in history and one that was down in public by nearly a third.  Same ads, same basic promos, lots of post cards mailed, but an awful lot of our regulars didn’t show up.  Why, who knows?  Actually, business wise I had a descent show as did most of you I talked to but activity and sales were definitely down; as was business traffic at the race track and on the street, off about 20% or more.

We have decided not to renew our Saratoga date for next August and stick with March, along with two other shows in the fall and winter season.  With the traffic, high hotel rates and tons of other outdoor things going on plus the expansion work starting at the City Center in the Spring, a break for next summer off seems logical.  From there, we’ll see.

The City Center is expanding outward and upward at the Maple Street entrances and the Broadway Atrium.  The main room will stay the same but entrances may change, I haven’t seen the final plan as yet.  I’m sure it is all for the best and perhaps we can make the Saratoga Arms Fairs larger and better.  The area is constantly building and developing and our county is one of only several that have had budget surpluses and no tax increases in New York State.  The economy here in Saratoga County is definitely vibrant so the future certainly looks good. 

What our show needs are new exhibitors so we can utilize the increased capacity of space and replace those who have retired, moved from the area or moved on to a better place.  I had over thirty cancellations for August, most for good reasons, a few for not.  As most of you now know, a long time show exhibitor and Life Member, Larry Zacarola passed away last week.  You knew him as “Ziggy”, that stout, white haired guy at the same back door location in the hall for many years.  He will be missed along with a multitude of members who went on before him, certainly enough to fill a show with an awful lot of fine people; Cathy and I remember them all.

But our gun show business in not one to dwell on the last show but to anticipate the next.  Even a disappointing outing, like fishing, is better than having to work for a living.  We just came back from Allentown Forks of Delaware show where we haven’t been in years.  Took six tables, expensed over $2000 and only took in $500, that from dealers, but we had a good time and we will be back.  We hope you’ll all be back to our next Saratoga Arms Fair on September 19, 20 and 21, our 25th year Anniversary Show at the City Center.

We opened the new center in August of 1984 with an antique show, a month later with our first Gun and Militaria Show.  I booked these when there was only a cement slab and  small trailer on premises, now the next event will mark our 72nd show on that slab.  We’ve come a long way baby!  Cathy is planning on a great event.  She’s convinced me of giving out exhibitor prizes to those who are supporting our September show with tables.  A ticket given for every table paid for plus a bonus for payment in full at least two weeks in advance.  She’ll work up some nice gifts starting with one of our Pachislo Gaming Machines to cash to free tables at shows.   Sign up with the enclosed flyer and be pleasantly surprised.  Also anyone presenting a full table display at this show will receive a special twenty-five year anniversary display award. 

If we don’t get our October 31, November 1 & 2 Antique Show fully filled soon with those dealers, we will turn it into an Antique Arms Fair WITH antiques and collectibles.  It’s bought and paid for so there will be a show in Saratoga at that time.  Our next mailing will have details plus fliers will be at our September event.  We still have our Member Banquet, Auction and Arms Fair on January 2, 3 & 4, 2009 also.  Please plan on it for dinner and a fun time.

We had 25th Anniversary NEACA Member pens imprinted and gave them out to members present at the August show.  For those of you who did not get one, either stop by our shop or see us at one of the upcoming shows for yours.  It is a very nice writing pen and will be a collector’s item in a hundred years so you don’t want to miss out.

Our second Utica show is coming right up, August 22, 23 & 24, flyer enclosed.  Our first show in April was great and we have about as many tables sold for this one.  Most same exhibitors are back and those that couldn’t do this show are being replaced with new dealers so average is about the same.  Still room for more though, so please tell your friends and if you haven’t sent in your application yet, do so now.  The Utica Hotel is holding a block of rooms as they did in April but August is a busy time, most hotels are sold out so call them immediately at 877-906-1912, Arms Fair rate of $110 with hot breakfast buffet, a super hotel close by the Utica Auditorium.  There are also a lot of chain motels in the area.

We have about 3000 prior show attendees on our Utica mailing list so far but we will send a discount post card to them all plus bring some to the Clayton show next week, also are mailing 1000 to the Boonville Friends of NRA booth at their Woodsmen’s days.  We look for new people all the time, please post our fliers in a prominent location in your own area and promote our shows from your tables at other shows.  Word of mouth is the best advertising, hopefully all good!

It is not an easy job creating, developing and producing good quality events all the time.  A lot of work goes into every show with constant promotion and never ending little things that always need to be done, plus we constantly look ahead a season or even years.  When most folks are enjoying the summer and vacations, we are planning our winter events or for next summer.  Our time goes by very fast and when September comes for us, we wonder where the spring season went.  Maybe it’s time to reassess, we aren’t getting any younger. 

If one of our offspring doesn’t want to take over this show business and look toward expansion, perhaps we should think about a partner who we can get to do all the work while we start enjoying the life we have yet to live.  But it is all work, work, work and last time I looked our portfolio of net worth was only two and a half mil, not much reward for 35 years in the gun business, especially if we don’t have time to spend some of it.  Any crazy and workable people out there with some cash and energy?  We can complain about each other on the way to the bank.  Happy hunting.

Sincerely, Cathy & Dave Petronis


May 8, 2008

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

Energy and food prices are high, housing starts and interest rates are low, gold is high and consumer confidence is low, the stock market still hovers at a high of 13,000 but the choice of who we are left to vote for in November simply sucks.  To hell in a hand basket or is opportunity knocking at the door, how does the pendulum swing?  Or when someone innocently asks, “How you doin?” the response today takes a little thought.

I personally think we’re doing ok.  Not great but not suicidal.  Each of us has their own circumstance which usually governs what life’s little hiccups bring forth.  If you were in debt, lost your job and faced foreclosure you have a good case of “things can’t get much worse”, response.  If you are the one getting a good deal off this guys’ trauma you probably answer, “Pretty good. How about you?”  Right back to an individual circumstance.  We’re doing fine and I think our high end collector business will do fine also.  I hope you are too.

Record auction prices are being made on antiques and high quality collectibles; there is no shortage of money out there.  We are seeing record attendance at gun shows and antique shows.  People are still buying and they are still traveling.  With all the doom and gloom I see every day on TV I don’t see it deeply affecting the affluent or the upper middle class.  Being frugal in times of uncertainty is prudent but I don’t see panic in most life styles.  Tightening of a few purse strings and making smarter purchases, maybe.  But I’ve needed to shed a few pounds anyway.  I see opportunity knocking so fill my glass to optimistic.

And I am working to stretch that attitude to securing better deals on our show advertising, keeping rental prices down and getting best rates for traveling.  Gas prices I can’t do a thing about but I hear driving slower, turning the engine off instead of idling, checking oil and tire pressures, can at least save on consumption.

So, on to our shows.  We still have some tables at Little Falls, Sunday, June 1st.  Cathy and I are staying there Saturday evening at the Best Western.  Good restaurants in the area including the hotel, call 315-823-4954 for a $65.00 rate if you want to stay there and send in your application we already sent you if you want a couple of tables.  First show there in ten or more years.

Saratoga in August is still the place to be. A near record crowd came in March and we are sending another ten thousand post cards out for August 1, 2, 3 and our hunting season show of September 20, 21, 22.  Check our enclosed August flyer for future show dates.  I can’t do much on room rates but we do have an extensive hotel/motel list we can send you or download the info from the web at NEACA.com on our Gun Show Page.  Lots of tables already sold but I am still lacking some deposits for our front section and some wall spots so if you want them send money with a request.

Again we will host a Saratoga Convention, Dinner and Auction during our January 2, 3 & 4, 2009 Arms Fair.  Those of you at our last Christmas Show and Dinner know how well it all went but told me it could be even better after the holidays, so here it is.  The hotel was bought by the Hilton chain and is now the Saratoga Hilton.  We’ve held the ticket price to $35.00 even though our cost went up ten percent.  The rooms are $75.00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you are coming to our dinner, secret code sent with confirmation and they are limited so we need a deposit of $10.00 per Dinner ticket.  Our auction went well and I know we will double the attendees for the next convention so if you want to put an item on our Silent Auction table with a minimum or in the Live Auction with a starting price, the commission will be $10.00 or 10%.  You must arrange that at least a month ahead.  I plan on this convention becoming a big event and will work towards that goal, don’t miss out, make my life easier, sign up early and help me sell tickets.  Our Saratoga Arms Fairs will always be the place to be if you tell your friends about the crowds, the facility and what wonderful people we have coming to the City Center.

Our Halloween weekend in Saratoga will be an Antique and Collectible show and the flyer is enclosed.  We also have mini flyers in pad form that we already started spreading out.  If any of you want some, or some of our Post Cards for the next Arms Fairs, call or Email us.  Twenty five years ago we opened the new City Center with a gala Antique Show in August followed by the first Gun Show in September.  I’m happy to be back promoting this type of event.  I know a lot of you will also be able to set up a booth with Antiques and Collectibles, including our vintage outdoor and sporting items.  No modern firearms unless deemed investment grade or highly collectible and also be part of an overall vintage sporting booth.  See our flyer for further details and call me for spot location. 

I still am hearing nothing but good things about our Utica Arms Fair with anticipation for our next one on August 22, 23 & 24.  At this point I have our 200 table floor plan but with capacity to about 325 with moving both sides of the seating areas back into the walls.  Most folks who were there at the last show already deposited for August.  Last chance to save your same tables is with this mailing; send in now with one table deposit.  By the beginning of June I will no longer honor same location.  I am also working on filling the upper level perimeter with outdoor sports dealers and vendors.  The show is billed as an Arms Fair and Outdoor Sporting Expo and by next April 3, 4 & 5 we should have fifty or so filled booths.  I am working with several folks to make that happen.

Again we have secured a great rate for this August Show at the Utica Hotel, just $110, up somewhat from April but the summer is very busy in the area, in fact both the Radisson and Utica Hotel are full except for our Arms Fair block of reserved rooms.  Don’t wait to secure yours, call 1-877-906-1912 and ask for the Utica Arms Fair rate.

I was working on a huge event in the Plattsburgh area for this summer or fall but time has run out for this.  We are dating it for 2009, also have a few other locations we are negotiating with and other irons in the fire.  Sending in your membership renewals for July and becoming a NEACA new member will keep our efforts and your mailings on track.  Speak of our shows to your friends, we always need new exhibitors for freshness at our venues and please post our flyers in a prominent location and at your clubs.  Our mini flyer and post cards are also available.  Keep the faith and have a wonderful summer.          

Sincerely,

Dave Petronis


March 26, 2008

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

We’ve put our 70th Saratoga Springs Arms Fair to bed and when the dust settled I could have slept for three days.  It was a very active show and although I made it a point to try and see the entire show, it was just impossible. But for this letter I wanted to give Dave a break and send you all my perspective of the show promotion business.

Just to give you a glimpse of the background of a March Saratoga Arms Fair, this is what goes on leading up to it.  This particular show a lot of things, including confirmations, were put off until the last minute.  We could see from our end the strain the economy was putting on people just because a lot of applications and payments didn’t come in until the last minute.  We understood what was happening but it didn’t make my job easier.

As most of you know, I have an income tax business.  Because of some things that Congress finalized late on Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) I couldn’t file some returns until the second week in February, which pushed some of my income tax business later that would normally have been finished in January.

I pride myself on doing a good job for my tax clients while at the same time, taking care of show business and advertising to make sure we give you dealers the great show you all deserve.  There are weekly newspapers and dailies plus websites that I list the shows on and press releases that go out to loads of papers, radio and TV stations.  There are radio scripts to check and update then an overall check of what advertising media is working and what is not.  The end of January we also began our mailing of thousands of post cards.  Over the years we have built up a data base of over 23,000 people.  A certain percentage comes back, some with corrections and some beyond the forwarding date. All this must be kept up to date and I’m the one who does that.  I also take care of member renewals and cards and you all know I’m not infallible with that chore.

Then comes the week of the show and it’s shopping for the menu for whatever we decide to make for the Friday evening preview and finally cooking it.  Denise usually helps with a lot of these things but she had the flu so it was impossible this time.  Some of you would probably be surprised at what a great cook Dave is.  He did help with the goulash this time as he did with hours of carving turkeys last fall.

Except for the first two days of that week, my income tax business is put on hold and everything is “Show Business” from the cooking, to packing and set up: then let the show begin.  You all know that experience and what I do there.  And now the Saratoga Show is history and things have settled a bit but there’s always the next show.

Which brings us to our first show in almost 20 years at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on April 4, 5 & 6.  It’s coming right along but we can always use more dealers for this large facility.  The caterers for the AUD are the same ones who run the restaurant at the Syracuse Fair Grounds Verizon Center.  In other words we’ll have choices of what to eat for lunch.  The staff at the auditorium is very enthusiastic about the Arms Fair and we are getting calls from all around that area from dealers, clubs and John Q. Public.   John Pitarresi, the outdoor writer for the Observer Dispatch, which is Utica’s main newspaper, has been mentioning the show in his column since January.   You’ll find a flier enclosed and I hope you will join us there.  Most of the dealers are staying at the lovely Hotel Utica, a Clarion hotel.   The lobby makes you just want to sit there and meet people.  There’s a nice lounge and a four star restaurant and a hot breakfast is included with the room and served in the lobby in the morning. There may be a few rooms left.  You can check at 1-877-906-1912.

We are starting the month of June off with a one day show at the Best Western in Little Falls where we will have about 35 tables and you will find a flier enclosed for that.  Again this is a very receptive facility with a lounge and restaurant.  There are lots of quaint shops in Little Falls also.  Fliers for our August 1, 2 & 3 Saratoga Springs Show are also enclosed and for those who want their usual tables please send a one table deposit.

Our 2008 confirmed schedule will find us back in Utica August 22, 23 & 24, then Saratoga, September 19, 20 & 21, our original Saratoga Gun Show weekend until the early 90’s and then rounding out the year with an Antique and Collector Show on October 31st, November 1 & 2 at the Saratoga City Center.  Any dealers who have antique firearms and sporting collectibles, don’t rule this show out.  We used to produce this type of show at the City Center and did a great business ourselves with that type of merchandise.  Fliers for the latter shows will go out in a later mailing.

I want to thank all you dealers who made our March Saratoga Springs Show so great.  I couldn’t begin to tell you all the compliments we received on the show.  The crowd was huge but not record.   If I keep my sanity through tax season, you’ll hear from me again late April or early May.  I told the “boss” I need a vacation after April 15th.

Sincerely,

Cathy Petronis

PS:  Cathy did such a great job on this letter I may actually retire and enjoy my first SS check this April … Dave.


January 18, 2008

Dear Members and Exhibitors

 … and Prior or Potential Members

Cathy and I wish you all a great New Year in 2008.  For us, any look upward from under a snake belly will be an improvement over 2007.  All we have to contend with now is high gas prices, high fuel oil prices, the thought of Clinton or Osama Obama as President and a gallon of milk costing $4.09.  I wonder if Adams and Jefferson bitched about the cost of bread and milk two hundred years ago, probably did!   Regardless, our new motto is “Be great in ’08.”

In a consensus and from the exhibitors as a whole, the request was made that in my next letter I pass on these words, “Thank all of you who did not set up at our Christmas Show in Saratoga, we had a great show.  Glad you weren’t there!”  Not my words mind you but from the class of Christmas Past.  The party was great and the auction dealt out some fine bargains.

The rest of you won’t get a chance to rethink your blunder and come to our 2008 Christmas Show and 2nd Annual Convention Dinner and Auction because it is going to be held on January 2, 3 & 4, 2009.  We’ll have Christmas in January honoring my Lithuanian Heritage because I couldn’t book the same weekend in December at the City Center.  Plan for it now, same theme as this past show – tickets will still be $35.00, try saving up five dollars a month for two in January, 2009 for those who thought it a bit excessive.  Or you can start sending in a couple dollars extra with a table all year long and we’ll keep track of your balance.

For our Saratoga City Center schedule, see our current flier for March – it has new dates, throw away the prior one.  We still have August 1, 2 & 3 and those who go to the “flea market” don’t endear themselves to us.  Let them change their date!

But we have a new date which replaces the October date.  We have to move to September 19, 20 & 21, right after the Syracuse Show.  There were too many conflicts and shows moving to our new November 1 & 2 dates.  Actually, we started Saratoga on that September date over 25 years ago and added our March show always on the third weekend.  So we are back to where we were but also have August during the peak of racing season and now a Winter Convention on January 2, 3 & 4.  I think it is a very good schedule.

Members join NEACA and come into our shows Friday evening expecting to see the dealers open for business.  We’ve heard many complaints that exhibitors are closed before our Members come in.  If you can’t be open till 9pm at least stay until 8pm. Saratoga is about the last show with a viable Friday selling time. 

Instead of losing our Halloween Weekend entirely at Saratoga we are holding that October 31, Nov 1 & 2, 2008 for another type of show – leaning to an Antiques & Collectables Show like we’ve done in the past with about 110 booths. If you are one or know an Antiques Dealer make note of the date.  Details will follow.

Our Holiday Inn Turf, Lake George show is this February 10th, on Sunday as usual.  We’ll be staying over Saturday evening to set it up.  Flyer enclosed but our fun little Show is nearly already sold out. 

After nearly twenty years we are back in Utica.  The auditorium has just issued us a contract for April 4, 5 & 6 for about a 325 table show on the renovated and expanded main floor.  We also have room for about 35 booths (8’ X 10’ wide) around the upper level for Outdoor Sporting Activity dealers like ATV’s, motorcycles, small boats, guides, etc. and will call the show the NEACA Arms Fair & Sporting Exposition.  Another date of August 22, 23 & 24 is also scheduled, just after the Clayton, NY Show.  Send in your table deposits today – those who are not members now but want to get a deal here it is.  Send full balances for your tables plus $30.00 for a new membership and we’ll give you the member rate for tables, if I get them with a postmark in January, or see us at the NYS Arms Show in Albany.  Lot’s of excitement about this revived show, already have about 100 tables deposited so don’t wait.  Lots of motels near by, make your reservations early.

We are 99% committed to reviving another show where we used to get a lot of tourists and Canadian traffic years ago.  With the dropping of our dollar against the Canadian dollar, almost par now, these people can again afford to visit and shop in the USA – especially in Plattsburgh and in particular at the beach near the Crete Civic Center.  We are organizing an Arms Fair and Militaria Exposition at the Crete Center and hopefully a Military Vehicle Show on the grounds as well.  Vacation time of July 11, 12 & 13, 2008.  The beach will be open and lots of motels and restaurants near by. Other new shows in the works. More details to follow.

If you haven’t renewed your membership by now you’ll probably owe us $30.00 if you were up on January 1st.  Get it in by the 31st and pay only $25.00.  New members are welcome at our regular rate of $30.00.  Go to our New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates web page at www.NEACA.com and download an application.  We have expanded our shows, our influence and have added our Convention – you should be a NEACA Member and a part of our always innovative and exciting collecting fraternity. Happy hunting!

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave Petronis


November 5, 2007

In twenty-five years of producing gun shows my experience learned is that things they are a’ changing.  Shows used to be fun and profitable, now it seems some time you can make some money or pick up an item or two but most of the fun has gone.  Laws have changed to make gun dealing more time consuming and candidly, even harder to do business or enhance one’s collection – or even to get rid of it.  I have always tried new things for the business, tried making shows comfortable as well as profitable and with Cathy’s help have succeeded at Saratoga, it’s a very nice show.

But even nice shows can finish last if any of those newly proposed gun ban laws are put in place.  It seems that every month brings forth some proposal to ban guns, ammo or even shows.  Syracuse and Albany could be gone with a writ of the Governor’s pen.  State property is not the proper place for guns, you realize.  Our show in Saratoga is stable but with a play on words even the horse stables could empty out if our Governor and Legislature don’t correct those pending problems soon.  Over one thousand horse breeders have left the state this year alone.  Saratoga without horses is like, well – Saratoga without gun shows.  No one knows what the future brings.

To make our terrible hobby and pernicious business dealings palatable to the masses of liberalism within our state, we now call our gun shows, Arms Fairs, sounds so much more pleasing.  After twenty-four years in Saratoga, we now want to make our Arms Fair into a Convention of Arms Collectors.  Conventions have power when they come to a city – gun shows breed scorn.  That’s just the way life in today’s world is, boys and girls, you and I must adjust or go and sleep with the dinosaurs.  Here is what I want you to do for me and for our hobby and business in peril. 

Enclosed you will find our NEACA Member Application; we need to create more numbers and all of you recipients of this letter are the keys to success.  Most of you are already members, if you need to renew, please do so.  Give the application to a friend and sign him or her up.  It’s a good deal; our standard annual fee is a paltry $25.00.  Coming to four shows in Saratoga alone is now $32.00 for one day each.  With membership you can come both days, each show, for FREE.  Plus, come Friday evening during setup and get free food and drink, four different times and come in early Saturday and Sunday with no waiting in line.  If that isn’t enough you get in free to all our other shows.  And for this member promotion, we’re going to waive the $5.00 initial process fee if you sign up now before our next show on December 22 & 23.  Need more incentive, first time ever, save another $5.00 and sign up for two years for $45.00 – no process fee.  Does your wife wait in the car while you check out the show because she won’t pay $8.00 admission?  For $8.00 more per year, you can add a spouse to your membership.  You can’t beat our deal with a stick!  Send it in today so we can show the cities we go into our strength in numbers.  Prior members, we want you back!  For some reason you stopped paying your dues, we need you to start again, same deal.  Renewing members, same deal!  Do it today. 

We have just scheduled two new shows in the rehabilitated area of Utica, N.Y. at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.  Our last show there was nearly 18 years ago, none since.  Great gun and hunting country and we can fit about 300 eight-foot tables.  Fliers will be in our next mailing but mark these two dates on your calendar, April 4, 5, 6 and August 22, 23, 24, 2008.   There is easy level loading, good lighting, plenty of free public parking and we’ll have reasonable table rent.  I am excited to be back, we always had some fine shows there.  One interesting but sad note, our last show there we had eighty gun dealers; all but about ten are gone.  See how these shows have changed.  Exhibiting then and still with us are the Hartman brothers, Gary Schultheis, John Shattuck, Tony Fidd, John Gunderson, Joe Marino, Roland Fraser, Everett Lester and Cathy and I.  All were members; most still do our shows but about 70 do shows in Heaven or not at all. 

Enough calamity, we also hope to see those same old timers at our rejuvenated Utica shows.  But we also need the old, the new and the returning members and exhibitors to sign up for our new Arms Fair on December 21, 22, 23 – next month at Saratoga.  We had a December show seven years ago and it went very well.  This new one will become a tradition because we are also hosting our First Annual Arms Convention & Christmas Party, next door to the City Center in The Hotel at Saratoga, in their carpeted Ballroom, Saturday December 22.

We reduced our table prices for this show by $5.00 each and obtained a great rate at this premium hotel, for $69.00 a night.  Members and exhibitors must mention the NEACA Christmas Party or Arms Fair to register.  The rate is good for Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings or any combination.  Call 518-584-4000 for reservations immediately, rate will be honored through Thanksgiving weekend.  Don’t wait, rate is regularly upwards of $125.00.

The reason you need to stay at this hotel for this time period is so you can also enjoy our Convention Dinner, Party & Auction on Saturday night and we will be using hotel rooms.  It is so cheap you can’t afford not to stay, we’ll have a breakfast buffet laid out on Sunday morning.  Sorry, it won’t be free this year but who knows what the future will bring. 

As for our Convention, we have just received our printed tickets for the evening festivities.  Drinks will be available at 6:00 PM in the reception area as well as registration and Auction viewing.  Large round tables will seat 8 so we have plenty of elbowroom, you may plan accordingly for space.  Dinner will be served consisting of a specialized chicken dish with trimmings.  Event tickets are $35.00 each and include a special drawing portion and also a door prize portion, deposit those in the appropriate area.  Call us for tickets, membership is not required but a head count is needed several days prior to the show, 518-664-9743 or 518-664-7610, leave a message if no one is available.  We will accept all credit cards for membership, tickets or table rent by phone as is usual, again, prior to the show. 

We’ll have at least a 20-item bucket drawing, tickets available at the dinner.  Also 20 items for a silent auction to be bid on by posting name and bid to a sheet, also a regular auction of around 50 guns or collectibles after dinner.  We will also have a few raffles benefiting the Friends of NRA.  I haven’t decided on a speaker or MC yet, if at all, or haven’t firmed up a visit from Santa but we’ll see.  In any event we will have fun.  You may also bring children if so desired and I will follow up on a special dish for age 10 or under, call me if you need to.  Also looking into a baby sitter for a group of children in our hospitality room at the Hotel.  Santa will come right after dinner, if you wish to arrange for special gifts, call us.  If you want to put an item in the auction or silent auction table you may do so for a $10.00 fee, call me before hand.  Gun transfers have to go through a dealer and I will also do them for buyers or sellers in need for $10.00.

I know this show is very close to Christmas, next year it will be a bit better and we will work toward a week earlier.  But this date was the only one we could get, the Hotel is giving us a super deal on rooms and best they could on the meal.  It is certainly not the best date but it is our only chance to try something new and get established as a Convention.  At these facilities, including the City Center, Conventions have preference over Trade Shows, which means our show dates can be bumped by a Convention date.  I am trying to put us on a par with the rest of the world.  To do this we really, really need your help.  You need to think hard on why you can’t possibly take tables on this show date.  Why you can’t save money on becoming a member and why you couldn’t possibly have an enjoyable time on Saturday evening, December 22nd and help our Gun Collecting Cause at the same time.  Gun control should be the ability to hit your target.

This letter is long but we have a lot happening now and in the future, all can only come to fruition with your help.  Arms Fairs or Gun Shows, as they are now, could become an endangered activity.  I hope new ideas will save them.

Sincerely,

Dave Petronis,

Pres., NEACA, Inc 


September 13, 2007

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

I usually like to start our letters with a bit of wit or wisdom.  For this one I want to tell all you fellows not to chase Wood Nymphs in the Adirondacks.  I found that they turn out to be a sucking succubus that grabs and flails you upon the rock and hurls one against the trees.  I am now dictating this to Cathy while in the prone position; legs up nursing the wounds received trying to capture what I thought was a nymph appearing to me in vision on our land in the Adirondacks.  Again I warn you guys, stay home and be kind to your woman.   It turns out my nymph was a dead tree I grabbed during a slide on a rock on my mountainside near Stony Creek.  With leg twisted I now have a black and blue ankle with torn ligaments.  Never a dull moment.

Down to business.  We just finished our little show in Amsterdam, NY at Pasqualli’s Restaurant and Conference Center and luckily there weren’t too many people who showed up to bother me while nursing my wounds.  I did manage to buy and sell a few things and my other dealer friends also made a few dollars, even though it was the hottest day in September that we’ve seen in a long time.  Then naturally it rained on Sunday when we started packing up.  I expect that the cloud above me will follow us to Syracuse this weekend.  In actuality, this new little show has potential and they are going to expand the facility and when they do, we will be back with another one.  By the way, the restaurant was excellent and if you’re going by the America’s Best Value Inn on Market Street, stop in, say hello to Pat and have a good meal.

One reminder that I should pass on is this.  While talking with the NYS COBIS officer visiting our show, doing his duty with the State Police, a customer came by and asked whether he could sell his gun to the exhibitor dealers behind their tables at the show.  I said, yes he could and was reminded by the officer that not all exhibitors were FFL holders and in that case if one bought a gun they would need to complete the NICS background check.  After the customer left the COBIS officer did remind me that it was my responsibility to remind our exhibitors that if they are not a FFL holder any non dealer has to go through the NICS check before buying a gun.  A collector selling their own guns at a gun show is not a dealer and needs to follow the law of non dealer status.  I am reminding all of you of this fact now.

Our October 12, 13 and 14 Arms Fair at the Saratoga Springs City Center is coming along quite well and again this year, we are hosting the NCCA, Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association.  We already have about 20 tables of their members signed up with promises for about 40. So I would suggest if you haven’t already sent in your applications, that you take this opportunity to fill it out and send it along with your deposit.  Also, if you need rooms, Saratoga is always a busy area and in this time period there are conventions going on and the autumn leaves will be in their full color so rooms will be at a premium, don’t wait to make your hotel reservations.  This show will feature collector knives, collector and investment firearms and hunting guns and all the general accessories that pertain to the upcoming season.  A lot of deposits have been received already and I would expect that this mailing would produce our normal sell out. 

On our way to Syracuse, we were also invited to stop at a new facility in the outskirts of Utica, one that will probably be about 100 table capacity, a lot of parking and a new building with full snack bar.  This is close to the Turning Stone Casino with hotels nearby and could turn out to be a very nice addition to our show schedule.  We’ll follow up with additional details if all goes well.

These new shows are more reasons to become a member of our New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates or renew your current membership.  As you are aware, we do not require membership to participate in our shows but we do offer discounts on tables and other benefits. Speaking of which we have been talking about a Christmas Party at our December 21, 22, 23 Show in Saratoga Springs.

I have been trying to figure out ways to make our Gun Shows more community oriented while getting more favorable press coverage.  One of the things we’ve done is to call our shows Arms Fairs, now I would like to insert the word “Convention”.  As a Convention our activities have a better standing than a trade show. A fun way to do this I thought, was to have a Christmas Party that I hope to turn into a  NEACA Winter Convention in the future.  I know this show is just a few days before Christmas as is this planned party but it’s the only time period that is available.  In time we will move into mid December.  I would hope all of you as members will try to help us in this endeavor. 

We have just consummated an arrangement with the Saratoga Hotel which adjoins the City Center, to host a Christmas Party on Saturday evening, December 22nd in the their Ball Room.  We will sell dinner tickets for $30 each consisting of a full, sit down meal with cash bar and decorative Holiday atmosphere.  We will also have tables for a silent auction similar to Friends of NRA banquets.  Already we have several volunteers who will help with this.  Anyone else wishing to volunteer please let me know.  I’m also considering a live auction of around 50 items, firearms, etc., with a flat $10 or $15 fee for consignments.  We will also have several raffles going on and may send out raffle tickets to members.

We’ve also arranged for a very special price for rooms at the hotel for our show and dinner at a rate of $69.00 plus tax.  Exhibitors and members will receive a code word to secure reservations at this very special rate.  We will have tickets printed and available shortly.  If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, please pass them on to Cathy or me.  Our December flier is enclosed and you will notice that there is a discounted table rate for this show, we have reduced the tables by $5.00  In addition to that, if anyone sends in the full table amount and requests dinner tickets at the same time, we will reduce the tables another $5.00 each.  You guys do the math, it’s a good deal.  We will also have a breakfast buffet on Sunday morning in the hotel gallery, which adjoins the City Center Exhibit Hall.  These will be separate tickets for around $15.00.

We’re also thinking about Santa Claus and each of us wrapping a present for one another, then as we all become merry celebrating the holiday season I may even have a contest trying to catch that illusive wood nymph.  Hope all of you can make this Convention idea a reality for our organization.  

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave


July 1, 2007

NEACA Members and Exhibitors, 

A day after our 45th wedding anniversary and a few days before we fly to Las Vegas, I’m trying to relax, recuperate from another vacation and rest up for our new trip.  But business always beckons and time waits for no one, Saratoga in August is just a month away.

Cathy and I celebrated our anniversary together but alone.  We did nothing.  What a joy!  I even ran out of gas putting filets on the grill so didn’t even have to cook.  All the kids were busy and we just chilled out.  But, we did manage a full family vacation by renting a house on the seashore in Rockport, Mass.  Four days of walking shops and beaches were plenty to exhaust us old folks but the kids spent a few days more. Now we’re off for a week in Vegas and hope to come back richer and wiser.  Thank most of you for not sending me all your table money for the August show.  I’ll need it when we get back!

Our post card advertising is going out next week thanks to Denise and our girls.  Most of the other advertising is already in place and I hope this mailing gets out before we go so you folks will have plenty of time to plan on coming to our August 3, 4, 5 Saratoga Arms Fair.  A lot of regulars didn’t weather the March snowstorm and couldn’t make our last show so pent up desires are definitely there.  Please send in your applications now or your balances for this show.  Getting everything done prior to the event makes Cathy’s life much easier and lets us devote our time to making a better show instead of having to call people.

October 12, 13 & 14 will be our fall show date and we have again invited the Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association, NCCA, to our event, same time and details as last year.  Our flier is enclosed but we will not assign any specific table location for the October show until after our August Arms Fair.  Thereby giving table preference to those of you who are attending the summer event.

We have contracted for a Christmas-time show at the City Center and the dates are December 21, 22 & 23, 2007.  We have tentatively booked the ballroom at the Saratoga Hotel adjoining the City Center for a Christmas party and dinner on Saturday night, December 22nd.  We hope to make this an annual event with a small auction, good food and camaraderie, perhaps Santa Claus and a gala convention of our membership.  All details have not been fully worked out but will be forthcoming.  Please plan on attending as a NEACA member or as one’s guest.  We will refer to our December show as our NEACA Convention and special room rates are being discussed for Friday and Saturday.  We need about 30 or so rooms booked and 150 or more dinner guests to make it all plausible.  Always something new coming from our organization but you, the membership is what makes anything work.

And another new event is coming this September 7, 8 & 9, 2007 to Amsterdam, NY.  We have scheduled a show at the former Holiday Inn, now an America’s Best Value Inn at 10 Market Street; plenty of free parking, easy to get to, a special room rate and fine gun loving area.  The venue is actually in Pasqualli’s Restaurant and Conference Center, an area where we can accommodate about 50 tables.  The management and hotel are very happy to have us and are thrilled that we are bringing in a long overdue gun show.  They are also helping to promote this event in the local area.  Only two months away, flier enclosed, please add this to your things to do list.  For room reservations, please call early, about $50. a night, 518-843-5760 and mention the Gun Show.

Our NEACA.com website is still doing fine.  We are now getting over six million hits a month and 175,000 visits each month, that is over 4,000 people every day looking at our products or messages.  Very soon it will be time to expand the site so we can host member pages and advertising.  In the coming months we will devote our time to that endeavor and to our Saratoga Springs Arms Fairs.

After 45 years of marriage and 35 years of being in business together, Cathy and I have the urge to cut back somewhat and start enjoying those golden years.  Retirement is not in the immediate future but better time allotment certainly is.  So, we will continue to do our best in promoting the Saratoga Arms Fairs considered by many to be the premiere shows in the northeast; work on our Convention idea to grow our membership and remain a leader in our business, and to maintain and innovate our web presence to provide for ourselves and our members.

Among those plans we would also like to sell our four story brick building in Mechanicville.  Our Otis elevator services four floors with 3,000 square feet of space each and we have both a Main Street location and one adjacent to the Champlain Canal.  For younger folks there are still a lot of growth opportunities here.  Our market price will be around $550,000.  We have several other locations for us to remain in the gun business but we really don’t need 12,000 square feet to maintain.  Anyone looking for a new future let us know.

We’ll also have a new sale at our store this August 9, 10 & 11 just to keep pecking away at our over sized inventory.  We’ll probably have a flier at the August show.  With that we’ve got to start packing for Vegas, please remember I’ll need money on our return.  Send in your table applications and check the mailing label for membership expiration.  Have a very pleasant summer and see you in Saratoga.

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave Petronis


April 25, 2007

Members and Exhibitors,

Is spring really here? Or are we experiencing that “global warming” phenomenon that brought early buds in January, miserably cold weather in February, a freak March snow storm that nearly ruined our Saratoga Springs Arms Fair and then April snow storms, massive flooding, a record warm day and now cold again.  Has spring really sprung or will we miss summer and see a cold spell for our August Saratoga Arms Fair?  So far this year’s weather has been crazy.  

But, even if the Artic polar bears have to swim a longer distance between icebergs -- life goes on.  We who buy and sell guns still need to get out and about.  Our job at NEACA headquarters, in glorious downtown Mechanicville, is to bring you, the general public, and other dealers together to deal with guns.  We’ve got some shows you might want to attend and even another sale at our own location. 

Our public attendance in March at Saratoga was the reverse of usual.  A fairly full show, the weather did scare a few dealers to cancel, but we managed to make it work and the crowd on Sunday nearly made up for only a thousand people on Saturday.  Really, the big problem was parking -- not the traveling. All history now, August 3, 4 and 5 is our next Saratoga Arms Fair and I think the folks who couldn’t get out in March will have pent up emotions to come see us in the summer.  We’ve had loads of phone calls inquiring about our next Saratoga show date.  The flier is enclosed but remember to find a hotel early.  Saratoga is always the place to be and summer time is fun time with the Racino and Harness Track plus the thoroughbred Flat Track and Polo.  A busy, busy place where the streets are crowded through midnight.

Even with the snowstorm on Friday evening and naturally all the hype that went with it from the weather forecasters who managed to scare a good deal of the public plus our dealers, overall the show was very good. Cathy and I lost money from admissions naturally and there weren’t the usual amount of people so the ratio of public to dealers was off but some of the dealers did very well.  We also took a lot of new memberships and after the show we still had lots of calls and people stopping at the shop inquiring about our next event.  The snow certainly took its toll and this was the first time in March in over 20 years that weather was a factor.  One of the disappointing facts was that Cathy did a lot more advertising and we sent out just under 10,000 post cards and perhaps that’s why the show was still good but it certainly was down.  We have had a lot of new inquiries about our shows from other dealers and August should prove to be a very good event.

Our fall show will be on October 12, 13 and 14 as it was last year and we have scheduled a new show just before Christmas at Saratoga on December 21, 22 and 23.  We had one at the same time back at the turn of the century and it went really well.  More to follow on that show.  If postal weight allows we are also including the October flier.  However, we will not assign any table locations for that show until after our August event. Dealers at the August Arms Fair will have preference for the following show.  Also our knife-dealing friends from NCCA will again be invited in October.

We are also returning to Herkimer at the VFW on Mohawk Street, flier enclosed, on May 18, 19 and 20 and will probably schedule another in the fall.  I’ve always enjoyed our little show there except for the motel situation.  This time we have managed to get a room at the Herkimer Motel, behind Denny’s and they still have a few rooms.  Call 315-866-0490 for reservations.  Lots of gun history in that area as well as our country’s historical past from the French and Indian War forward.  Stuff always comes in and I always sell guns.

Plattsburgh is back on our schedule too.  Instead of the K of C Hall on Boynton Avenue, which was sold and converted to something else, we are right next door at the VFW #125 where the friends of NRA dinner is also held. The date is June 1, 2 and 3 and our flier is enclosed.  We’ve had some very productive shows in Plattsburgh and there is a variety of good motels nearby. 

If you folks know about those computer things then you can actually go “on line” and download by PDF all of our fliers, check on motels and restaurants or even find a map to get where you want to go.  Our website at NEACA.com has a lot of information, news, and guns and stuff for sale.  Soon we will announce a new sale at our Hudson River Trading Company store on May 11 and 12, the Friday and Saturday before Mothers’ Day.  We had about 150 people show up for our last one but didn’t even make a dent!  Of course, we also had a snowstorm on the first day of our sale.  God is testing me! 

With all the new gun laws that are being introduced in our New York State Assembly by the Democrats and now with Elliot Spitzer as Governor, one never knows what the morrow may bring.  Watch your NRA –ILA alerts and the local papers for laws being proposed and do your part by sending a letter or making a phone call to Albany expressing your concern.  My belief, no matter what New York State Senator Schumer has to say about his “believing in the second amendment rights”, I wouldn’t trust him one iota.  And when he and Clinton and Sheldon Silver get together it should run shivers up your spine.  Shiver my timbers with Spitzer, Silver and Schumer at the helm!

And with that, happy sailing or as ‘ol Roy used to say “Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”   In Herkimer, Plattsburgh and Saratoga.       

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave Petronis 


September 11, 2006

Members & Exhibitors,

Here it is five years later and the only reason Cathy and I feel safer is that we still own guns.  During the dark hurricane in New Orleans the folks that had them were being sought by the local government in fear they might just be using guns to keep what they own and wanted to protect.  New buyers of homes near long operating shooting ranges now want to close the ranges down because of noise and safety.  And if Schumer and the possibility of a new democrat Congress get in and have their way this fall, gun shows might follow the path of the do-do bird.  But, thank the heavens and pro-gun people everywhere our Saratoga Springs Arms Fair is still going to happen this coming October 13, 14 & 15.

Those sharp, sticky things called knives, bayonets and swords are already high on the list of liberals who are setting their sights on the elimination or control of those nasty knives and box cutters.  That is why we are very pleased to announce the alliance of the Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association and New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates in this October Show.  Long time NEACA member and exhibitor, Art Green of Gloversville, NY and prominent NCCA member was the influential force in making this happen.  Thank you, Arthur.  He also has diligently advertised this cooperative event in knife and blade publications.

So, not only should you exhibitors be bringing hunting guns and accessories to this show for the upcoming season, you should also bring out those old blades tucked away for possible enticement to this new audience.  And, of course, this also affords the opportunity for you knife folks to bring along those guns and other sporting collectables not normally seen or brought to your own shows.  Let us make this next opportunity of meetings into an exchange of mutual wants.

We are extending our NEACA member table discount rate to the NCCA members for this October Arms Fair.  They simply need to present their current NCCA card for verification.  There are nearly 20 tables already paid for from the NCCA with others requested.  And with our deposits from prior shows we have over a hundred NEACA tables deposited and the inevitable “check is in the mail” for another 30 or 40 more so we are in good shape for another sell-out.  We will send fliers and discount coupons to Syracuse, Marlboro, Rochester and Springfield Shows, which are all in the preceding month to ours. 

We also send out an additional 5000 discount coupons to our prior area show attendees and will begin the local advertising 2 weeks prior to the show.  You can help by copying the flier and posting it in your gun club, local gas station or work bulletin board.  Personal promotion by each exhibitor or member can reach a lot of new and otherwise missed people.  It is hard for me to believe in this age of instant communication that I find so many people who don’t own a computer or have e-mail, who don’t receive a daily paper, who don’t fill out door prize coupons or know where they live to receive a mailed notice of our show, who don’t subscribe to Gun List or other publications and for some reason still come to our show – it is a lot about word of mouth or going to prior or other shows.  But to get to the same person with all the above attributes who doesn’t attend gun shows – you need a personal flier staring him in the face or a “by chance glimpse or listen” to one of our ads.  It ain’t easy reaching the right people and getting new folks to come on in.  But we work at it and so far have succeeded in getting our share of good exhibitors and good buyers.  Attested to by our sell-out shows.  And this show also has Art Green doing some of the same work in different areas.

Get your application in; I have a few wall spaces left of groups of three with one table perpendicular to the wall, in an “L” form.  I believe all or most of the front half section is already deposited for – so if you didn’t heed my warning at the last few shows about depositing for your prior location you are probably out of luck and unless you send in pretty fast you may not get space at all.  We will be in Syracuse the weekend of September 16 & 17 also.

Also, members, remember that only exhibitors are allowed in on Friday until 6:00 PM.  If you do not have a table please come only after 6:00 PM. Anyone wishing to sign up for membership may also do so at that time.  Exhibitors, remember that badges are for you and your bonafide partner, not for someone who simply asks you for a badge.  There is a limit of two. Our dealer set-up time is just that – exclusively for table holders.  Our buffet also starts at 6PM for the normal free food and drink.  And, exhibitors, you are also asked to stay and remain open at least to 8PM on Friday – that is why we provide you with free food and drink.  If all you guys consider this a waste of time we certainly can eliminate the practice – it is a lot of work and expense and if not appreciated by staying open, we can change the practice.  Let us know.

The hunting season is right on the heels of our show so do bring your hunting guns to this show.  It also marks the end of our year’s shows.  We have nothing that is scheduled until February 11, 2007 in Lake George.  That flier is also included.  Please remember to read the show Rules and Regulations on the reverse of our October Arms Fair flier and sign the reverse. Please pay your membership dues if up on October 1, 2006 – see your mailing label for your due date.  Please have all paperwork and payments in to us two weeks prior to the show if you want the member discount rate.  And have all paperwork and payments in to the Secretary’s table prior to set-up on Friday evening.

If you haven’t been to our NEACA.com website, which garners over 3 million hits a month, which those of you not in the know, that’s a lot, please do visit.  While perusing the site you will find that our E-mail address is on each page.  Please respond and send us your E-mail address.

Other than all that crap, have a great upcoming season.  Perhaps even I, owner of over one thousand guns may finally get to go out hunting or fishing this year.  Who knows, all may still be right with the world if you all vote right.

Cathy & Dave Petronis


May 28, 2006 Member Letter

Members and Exhibitors,

Here it is Memorial Day weekend and I’m working as usual. No rest for the wicked but I hope you are having a fine family time and are remembering our deployed and fallen who have given some or all for continuous Freedom.

Our first Monticello, New York Arms Fair this past May 20 & 21 is now history and if you had asked me right up to Thursday prior, I would have called it our first and last.

Continuing to the table set-up the show was a struggle. When Dave and I arrived on Thursday afternoon, we spent four hours rearranging tables because we were working with the wrong measurements when we put the layout on paper. As in many tasks we all encounter, we were taking one step forward and two in reverse.

When Friday morning arrived, other than the rain which we had no control over, everything seemed to mellow out. The exhibitor set-up went extremely well, the breakfast and lunch buffets were superb and the 150 tables on the floor filled with quality guns and goods. The staff at the Monticello Raceway from Event Coordinator, Lori to the Maintenance people to Security and even the NYS Police on staff couldn’t have been more helpful. The joint effort made things run smoothly and we knew they definitely wanted us there. However, I think everyone, including myself, forgot that our Saratoga Springs, NY Arms Fair was not built with one show. It surely wasn’t in Saratoga and look at it now. We have the same good feeling about the future of Monticello.

Attendance was definitely lower than anticipated; I think we may have relied too much on local advertising. We have to do a better job and advertise more in northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To target newspaper or radio stations we need more information in those areas and any forthcoming from dealers and members would be most welcome, we already have had some suggestions. We sent out thousands of direct mail discount coupons as well as four-color postcards sent out by the Monticello Raceway publicity department. We advertised three weeks prior in The Yorktown Pennysavers that cover the lower Hudson Valley and the Want Ad Digest covering the upper as well as two weeks prior in the local papers. Websites were used; fliers and mini flier pads were distributed to and by NEACA Members at shows and in shops in five States. Enough of a public base got the word about the show to have at least several thousand show up, but they didn’t.

Checking over what advertising we did, perhaps there may also have been contributing factors to the low attendance, one was that after nearly three weeks of rain, Saturday and Sunday mornings were dry. We were also only two weeks after the Middletown Show and area money might have been spent. But I think the biggest reason was that people didn’t know what to expect either of the show or being where it was with signs stating "No Guns Allowed" on the doors. Questions were asked and rumors abounded about the show, all unfounded!

There were nothing but compliments from the public that did come in. Things like, "We need a good show like this in this area!" "When will you have another one?" And new dealers who asked to be added to our mailing list so they can exhibit at the next show in Monticello. The only complaints were from a couple of the exhibitors about when we were opening the doors to the public, etc. The ones who would generally complain if God came down and put an engraved Henry on their table and it would be the wrong caliber! They probably won’t be at our next show.

To that end we are anticipating a late fall or winter Arms Fair at the Monticello Raceway. The staff there has already asked what they can do to help make it a better show and we’ve told them that they have to work with us to get more public there. Better advertising, more local signs and more word of mouth. We thank all you dealers who were there because you were the ones who generated the compliments.

June 17, 18, Saratoga Antique Arms Fair

On to our next Saratoga Springs, NY Antique Arms Fair again on this upcoming Father’s Day Weekend, please note we are closing early at 1:00 PM on Sunday in view of the holiday. Our last show had some great displays and exhibitors and the public was adequate for a holiday and early summer show. Last year we were also against the same type show in Manchester, NH but that will not be held this time around. We have some great exhibitors for this second Antique Arms Fair and a lot of public response with questions by phone. Remember this is an Antique and Collector Arms Fair, look at the flier and bring those types of items. And I know that even you dealers in modern firearms, as many did last year, can find at least enough collector items and used guns lying around for a table or two. Or invite a friend who wants to clean out some of their collection or shop to participate with you. This is a great opportunity to continue development of this new show with some new people. We all have to work at doing this if fine Saratoga shows are expected in the future.

The table arrangement is a bit different than our regular Arms Fairs, the next one being this August 4, 5 & 6, as we have end caps on the aisles and one less across, so your regular tables won’t be just as they normally are. We have also lost three members since last year that will be watching our show from on high wondering who can try to fill their spaces. A very tough assignment and not getting any easier. Again, we can always use some good exhibitors for this fine show.

All the upcoming fliers are enclosed and I would like at least a deposit on those you plan on attending so I can do my job of promoting the shows to the public and not calling exhibitors about who is coming. And I do thank all of you for your continued efforts at making your shows and ours great.

Sincerely,

Cathy Petronis and hubby, Dave.


April 10, 2006

Members and Exhibitors,

I’ve said it before, I have to say it once more.  You had to be there to fully experience and understand why people tell me, “This is the best show in the northeast!” Of course, I’m referring to our Saratoga Springs, NY Arms Fair and in particular this past show in March.  As is usual, it was great.  Actually, it was a record breaker in overall attendance and in new memberships to New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates, NEACA, Inc.  Thank you, all.

It was our 62nd Gun and Militaria Show at the Saratoga City Center on uptown Broadway.  We reached the 250 eight foot table capacity several times with exhibitors for this show but with so many of our regulars that were either sick or injured or going to or from the hospital, we ended up with six empty tables on show day.  Cathy and I figured out that from last year’s show we had over eighty exhibitor tables that were not taken by them this year.  Most due to unforeseen circumstances, nine from the ultimate departure, thirty-one from going out of business or cutting back, fifteen from illness, seven due to other non-show conflicts, one to the Baltimore show and nineteen for reasons I don’t know.  But two for this show due to not showing up when they told me they wanted tables.  Now you know why we expect money two weeks prior to our shows.  If not for sickness of some of our regular dealers we would have had a nine-table overage and a waiting list.  We are going to call this another sell-out, eight out of nine in a row — last October opening day of hunting season show was the problem child.  That won’t happen again!

I only found three dealers who told me they didn’t do much business.  There is always someone who takes a hit, I’ve been there, but less than 3% of exhibitors not having a fine show is a pretty good record.  Our Saratoga Arms Fair also boasts having the most guns per show table ratio in the northeast, with quality and collectables high on the list of attributes.  And you thought running a show was just making a flier and collecting money, ‘eh?  A promoter also has to know why it goes good and why it didn’t work.  We analyze our shows and tweak the things we can.  We’ve learned much over the past twenty-four years of producing shows and it all comes from work and experience.

What’s nice to hear from dealers is, “great show,” or “best show I’ve had” or “here’s my deposit for same tables next show!”  But I’ve got to tell you something that some exhibitors don’t seem to realize – if we have to call you to find out whether you plan to grace us with your presence, we can’t use that time to do what we should be doing – promoting the show to new dealers and the buying public!  What we don’t want to hear from our exhibitors is, “I’ll check my schedule,”  “I’ll probably send you a check” or the best one is, “If you don’t conflict with my other shows …” Well guys, the way we see it is that for over twenty years we’ve been doing things right and paid all our dues many times over.  The late Rodney Daingerfield liked to say, “I get no respect”…at times we feel the same way.  This must change.

With constant sell-outs, record crowds, fine location, free food and drink for dealers on Friday evening and prestigious track record of doing the right things, we think it is time for a little more respect when it comes to putting up your hard earned money for our future shows.  Nearly half of our dealers put deposits down for our next shows and if the other half doesn’t think we are worth the effort then by all means we plan to seek new exhibitors who do.  We’ve held spots for the ungrateful, collected and held bad checks from the irresponsible and bent over backwards for the last minute unresponsible.  It is time things changed for the better so we can actually do our job as promoters and concentrate on getting more public and more buyers to our shows.  As dealers, do your job and send in the application enclosed – all we ask is a one-table deposit and balance of payment two weeks prior to the show if you want our member rate.  And fill it out with your current information and sign the reverse as our insurance now requires . 

We’ve had two really great years at our Saratoga Arms Fairs with sell-out shows and great attendance and we will continue to improve.  The City Center has been talking of expansion and presumably we will have larger shows.  We’d like to keep our quality dealers and old friends but business is business, do your part, we do ours.  ‘Nuff said!

Again in June we will have our Antique and Collector Arms Fair on Father’s Day but will close early on Sunday.  We have a lot of tables already deposited but as I said above …!  This year however, another Antique Show will not be against us like Manchester, NH was.  Should be another great show!  Then August we are back to our original first week end date – remember, there is no Albany summer show, which was just before ours.  Then on to October with our show just before hunting season so it should be fantastic!  It is a terrific line-up for Saratoga this year.

Our new event is at the Race Track in Monticello, flier enclosed for May 19, 20 and 21.  Even if you already sent in for this show, please fill out this updated application and sign the reverse.  We already have sixty or so tables committed from our February mailing, others have inquired and are waiting for this first mailing of our normal flier.  We only have a month to wrap it up so get your application in please.  Read the flier for motel and set-up info.  I want all dealers to set-up on Friday and we will be there from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  There is a lot of buzz out there about this show and we expect a huge public turnout.  Besides our own promotion and mailings the Raceway folks are sending their own post cards and doing other advertising different from ours.  If you need a motel room call the Days Inn now.

We’ve been out of the lower tier of NY State for a while and this is our reintroduction to the area.  As members, if you want VIP treatment at Monticello, go to the Valet entrance, pay the $2.00 to have your car parked and take the elevator to our show, otherwise there is plenty of free parking but a long walk.  We’ll allow members in Friday at 5:00 PM thru closing at 8:00 PM and as always, a half hour early before the doors open on Saturday and Sunday.  Any guns coming in must be covered or encased but please DO NOT wear concealed handguns because we cannot have guns on the Casino floor.  And dealers, if you want to go to the Casino or the Buffet Restaurant in the Casino, leave your handgun among your tables or leave it locked in your car.  We’ll also be giving out some discounts for the buffet.

Monticello has a Casino, just like the Saratoga Racino.  You can play till the cows come home but no guns on the floor; we will have a problem if you wear one.  The NYS Troopers have endorsed this gun show aspect but must insist on no concealed carry on the Casino floor.  When I first went there I told them I was carrying upon entry and they graciously locked my gun up for safe keeping until I left.  However, they have limited time and space so it is best to simply leave it in the car, with your tables or not wear it, a small consideration for being able to have this show there.

The future plans at Monticello include the building of a Convention Center along side the Casino.  This supposedly will happen if all goes well, within two years and if we develop a good overall rapport with the owners and have responsible and understanding exhibitors and public this can become the best show place in the Southern tier.  Nestled neatly in the corners of three states; NY, PA and NJ with a population of over twenty million people, we should be able to convince a few of them to come and buy our goodies.

To those of you, who like us do the right thing, we are grateful.  To those who we hope we have convinced to make our life simpler, easier and more productive by looking a little bit ahead, we welcome you again to our fine core of exhibitors and members.  To the people who read these messages and know the advantages there are to be found in these words we are pleased to offer them.  To you where this message falls on deaf ears, we are sorry for you and for our overall business, you may be part of the problem not part of the solution.  To you who know not, read not and do not care, we wish you a farewell.  And to you who always do the right thing, who consistently support our efforts, we need your continued help in seeking out good replacements for those no longer with us.

Thank you as always!

David and Cathy Petronis


February 2006

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

Our letter is a little late getting off the press on the beginning of this fine New Year of 2006 but with reason.  First, let me observe that this mild winter is surely a Godsend to those in need – us included.  The price of heating our building, home and apartment house would have been horrendous if not for these sunny, snow melting days and balmy temperatures.  With shop business slow, there truly must be a God looking out for us poor gunrunners.

Major reason for tardiness in writing about our upcoming schedule is that we have been working on details for a new show location at the Monticello, New York Raceway.  Now housing electronic gambling machines, one armed bandit type, and sporting a new name and Las Vegas look, the Event Director of Mighty M Gaming and Empire Resorts contacted us about promoting a gun show at their new facility.  We have accepted the invitation and have worked out the details.

The date we picked is this May 19, 20, and 21 and was the time period when we ran the Newburgh Armory Show, about ten or so years ago.  We have still kept up our 10,000 or more attendee mailing list from all of our southern tier shows and will use that as a base for post card mailing for this event.  We will have room for about 250 eight foot tables and will charge $70.00 for non members and $60.00 for members, wall tables $2.00 additional.

The actual location is 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY and info can be found on the web at www.EmpireResorts.com.  They have offered to help us with advertising, to supply carts and a few helpers for easy load-in, free parking, discount on their food buffet and a special rate of $62.00 for double rooms at the local Days Inn, about 10 minutes away in Liberty.  If you want to reserve your room for 2 people at that special price for May 19, 20, Friday and Saturday, call 845-292-7600 (Murrain at ext. 253) and ask her for the NEACA Show Promotion price for Mighty M Gaming Show.  Don’t wait too long for when they are all gone.

I have already sent out email inquiries to dealers asking for early support and a commitment to taking tables.  Also, I asked dealers at the last Albany Gun Show.  Most exhibitors said they would come but a few have already made prior plans for that weekend --- shows that are quite far away such as Denver and Ohio.  I can’t help but be against some shows if you look nation wide, but as for the local and regional area, there are none against that weekend.  We should have ample exhibitors and plenty of pent-up folks who want us to come back to this area.  As of now, I have about 30 tables committed.

I am asking you now to commit to this show early and send a note with a one table deposit so I can concentrate on advertising and who will be there – not have to call some of you for some for last minute tables.  Be a businessman and let us know well in advance your intentions.  We also expect many down state dealers to participate.  Check the map and see how easy it is to access this location from all of the Tri State corridor.  As with Albany, there are elevators to the third floor where this show will be held in a 20,000 square foot area.  But all level loading, no ramps.  Within two years, according to plan, they hope to build a new Convention Center and Hotel next to this facility and the show will move into that.  This is a fine opportunity to have a great show just north of 20 million potential customers at a place where they called us!  Be a part of it and send me a deposit today. 

As for Saratoga this year, I think we’ve got some great dates and a nice schedule planned.  March is coming along fine as usual but, as usual, the folks who don’t know what’s going on with themselves from day to week haven’t sent in their applications.  There are no deals to be had with procrastination, we’ll be sold out and I’m really starting not to care whether a few of the stragglers show up at all.  Makes life easier sometimes.  A flier is enclosed for March for all of you folks who plan to participate to post somewhere to spread the word.  And thanks for doing your part.

We again will have an Antique Arms Fair in June – flier is enclosed and I hope all of you consider looking it over.  We had just over 200 tables last year but were against another show in New Hampshire of the same type.  Not this year.  It is on Father’s Day weekend again so we’ve decided to close early on Sunday at 1PM so the day can still be a family one.  Please make it another fine event.

We are near to a decision of having several auctions on the Monday and Tuesday after our August show in Saratoga.  We have the dates booked at the City Center and are thinking of a member brunch around 1 PM on Monday with a Friends of NRA type of meal and silent auction and program.  Then viewing for a 6 PM or 7 PM auction of about 200 guns at the City Center. For anyone wanting to consign a gun for that auction we will have a flat $15 charge and a 10% buyers commission.  I have not yet picked the auctioneer.

On Tuesday we hope to hold a very nice Victorian Antiques and Vintage Sporting Auction starting around noon after a buffet style breakfast and viewing.  We would like to hear from anyone wishing to consign quality items.  We hope to make this an annual event and will try for an elegant display of quality antiques.  We would also like to combine this auction with online Internet bidding and a catalog.  We are talking to auctioneers now and will decide on final details in the spring.

In October we will have the Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association (NCCA) also participating in our Show at Saratoga.  The date is the weekend prior to hunting season after we managed to switch dates with other shows.  The knife collectors are mostly from the New England area and will take about 50 of our tables so again, we will be sold out.  We are very pleased they wanted to join us in our Saratoga Springs Arms Fair.

Lake George is Sunday, February 12th and we have a few tables to sell, always a nice little cabin fever show.  We’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn on Saturday night to enjoy the Winter Carnival.  Folks have asked about Schenectady, the location is history and the space will be rented to a grocery store.  We are looking into a couple of fun weekends this summer, one is a bar and restaurant pig roast and gun show in the Adirondacks.  Not Stony Creek.  Another is a chicken barbeque and show at a gun club in the Herkimer – Ilion area.  And one more major event is still in the planning and has been for several years now – maybe 2006 is the year of fruition for what could be a great Arms Fair.

Our NEACA.com website is now averaging 3 million hits a month and we are doing a fair business.  We hope you keep the faith and stay with success – New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates.  And if you haven’t joined us yet, now is the time, $30.00 initially and $25.00 twelve month renewal.  Send us a check with name and address and save on your next table rental.  See you all in Saratoga.

Sincerely,

Cathy & Dave Petronis


September 2005

Dear Members and Exhibitors, 

I have put this letter off for as long as I could while awaiting word on several new things that we were contemplating.  A few still have not come to fruition and we will continue to work to their conclusion.  But we have managed to firm up the next year’s Saratoga Springs, NY dates and bring back several of our long standing though small gun shows.

Along with this letter you are receiving fliers for our next Saratoga Springs Arms Fair, which is just weeks away in October.  We have always tried to book this around the final October weekend or the beginning of November but through the constant problems of schedule changes at the City Center with their emphasis on conventions, the only date available is October 21, 22 & 23.  Next year our fall schedule at the City Center is booked for October 13, 14 & 15.  At that 2006 show the Northeast Cutlery Collectors Association will also participate by booking a group of tables for their membership.  We are very pleased that they consider our show to be a good venue for their own annual fall event. 

We are also including our March flier for Saratoga, which as you know, is our largest attended event.  We have been selling out about two weeks ahead of time for the last several shows so I would urge you to at least send a deposit of one table for March if you plan on exhibiting.  Also if you have not renewed your membership or are not a member you should definitely take advantage of becoming a member of our New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates and reap the benefits that we offer.

We have just firmed up the date of June 16, 17 & 18 for our second Antique Arms Fair at the City Center.  After talking to the majority of exhibitors who were at our first show and learning that most had a rewarding show we decided to continue with this event.  Again it is on Fathers’ Day weekend, the only available time that we could secure. However, we will limit the hours on Sunday from 9AM to 1PM, thereby offering the rest of Fathers’ Day for family time but still get a good sales day inn.  Also on the weekend of our firs Antique Arms Fair there was another similar show in Manchester, NH; in 2006 that show will not be against ours.  We personally had a great show and look forward to another. 

The summer show will be moving back to its original first weekend of August in 2006, which is August 4, 5 & 6.  Saratoga Springs is much too busy during the end of August with Traverse Weekend and by moving to the earlier time period we can still get the benefit of thoroughbred owners, trainers and wealthy tourists.  We are also considering an auction of high-end firearms, antiques and collectibles for the following Tuesday, a day when the track is closed, with perhaps a breakfast or charity dinner on Monday for viewing.  This is something we’ve been working on for several years and, though not 100% firm, is appearing to gel for 2006.

Enclosed are our fliers for Herkimer, NY on November 11, 12 & 13 and Lake George, NY at the Holiday in on Sunday, February 12, 2006.  Both of these shows are somewhat small but have always produced good results whether that be in public response or fine items coming into the show for sale.  In Herkimer the Inn Towne motel that most of our dealers normally stayed at was definitely not up to standards the weekend of our last April show.  There seems to be a lot of activity on this November weekend so rooms are rather scarce.  Cathy checked on several motels; one being about 2 miles east of Herkimer on Route 5 which is the Glen Ridge Motel, 315-866-4149, (about $50 a night) and also the Best Western in Little Falls, about 5 miles east of Herkimer on Route 5, 315-823-4954 (about $66 a night).  We think we’ll be staying in Little Falls.  The VFW will again have their fine lunch bar, as you know it’s easy loading into the show, well lit and we normally get about 400 to 500 people for the weekend.  All in all a great little show.

Again the Lake George Show at the Holiday Inn on Route 9 will be in conjunction with their Winter Carnival.  Always a little chilly up north but the bar is open at the Holiday Inn and we’ve always had a good Sunday dinner in the restaurant.  A lot of tourists are in the region during our show and we usually end up with around 350 people for the day and some great items have walked in the door.  I don’t think most shops would have 300 people walking through their door in the whole month of February let alone on one cold day.  Plan to participate.

We’ve been talking to the owners of the Crosstown Plaza in Rotterdam where we had our summer show about the possibility of another event and we are still waiting a determination from them, which is one of the reasons why this letter is so late.  The conversation this past week was that the space occupied by the “Expo Center” is to be rented to a grocery store that is now in the plaza.  The date of their move-in was in question and made it a possibility to pursue another show at that location.  Last word was they’ll “get back to me” as soon as a final decision is made.  But I still wonder whether we would have heat, God knows we had plenty of it in July.   Anyway, keep the dates of December 10 & 11 open if their location opens up again for use.

If you haven’t visited our website yet at NEACA.com you should do so.  Immediate news is always available there about our shows and goings-on in the gun world.  We now average 2 million hits a month and we are always seeking fine items for sale.  New things are being worked on for the site all the time.  Hope to see you all in October.


April 2005

Even with the fierce competition for exhibitors and attendees this past March 19 & 20 weekend, our NEACA group held their own plus more with our 58th Arms Fair at Saratoga Springs, NY.  It was one terrific show.  I never thought I would hear the complaint of there being too many people!

For the past six shows we have held at the City Center, regardless of time period, we have been sold out.  Our membership is expanding continually because show attendees are realizing the hour or so wait in line is much better spent browsing the 250 tables inside.  The quality Arms Militaria, books and knives in the show are more attractive than waiting outside wondering.  You who still are not a member of New Eastcoast Arms collectors Associates can find an application within our Journal pages.

The third weekend in March, which our spring show always falls on, has had fierce competition for years.  About a dozen years ago the Baltimore Show was changed from the weekend prior to our show to our own date when they moved from the Armory to the Fairgrounds.  About ten years or so ago a Sportsmen’s' Show arose in Albany at the Egg and thru the years has grown to compete for dealers and public with our Show in Saratoga.  And there are many other gun and knife shows on our same date throughout the country. So, having and keeping our level of participation is not by chance or lack for someplace else to go for exhibitors and public alike.  But they do like to come to Saratoga and they sure came out for this past show.  Cathy and I sincerely thank you all.

We had some nice displays by the members and also had our local hunting and fishing clubs participating with member drives and raffles.  Several reenacting groups were in full dress lending color and knowledgeable discussions to the fray.  Ladies from the VA Hospital in Albany gave information to veterans and several prominent book dealers had all the stories and reference any collector could want.  Mix those with excellent exhibitors of quality arms, highly sought collectables and necessary ammo and accessories and it is no wonder thousands of gun fraternity folks wait in line to attend.

And those folks brought some wonderful things for sale.  A pair of First Model 1873 Winchesters found an eager exhibiting buyer.  As did some great small bore shotguns.  I personally managed to snag a beautiful “G” date Luger and two Winchester 1910 SLR’s in .401 caliber, one a first year production.  We managed to lose track of how many black gun ties we gave out after two hundred were used at both doors Saturday morning.  It simply became too busy to keep up the organized count.  So, I know a lot of stuff came in and was offered for sale or trade with our exhibitors. 

One of the City Center staff came in and told me one line was out the door and wound around the building to the rear loading dock.  He never saw that before, at any show there!  Another wound through the main entrance hallway out to the Atrium area.  Both were strong till noon – then just steady.   On Sunday we had a long line till 10:50 or so. Must be doing something right.

We normally have three regular Arms Fairs a year in Saratoga, one the third weekend in March, one in August and another in October.  You can find our dates in the Journal pages.  Our next regular show is August 27 and 28 and we have about 100 of the 250 tables still open for sale.  However, we have not yet done our regular mailing.

But this year we are going to have our first Antique Arms Fair and Collector Show at the City Center on Father’s Day weekend, June 17 & 18, 2005.  Both of those flyers will be going out soon and we already have many deposits for June as well.  This show is specifically for Antique Arms and Armour; vintage Militaria and Military guns pre-1946 manufacture; Curios, Relics and Commemorative Guns; Rare or High Quality or Prime Collector Firearms; Related Reference Books and gun company collectables and advertising; Sporting Antiques and vintage outdoor sporting collectables Sporting Art and Decoys; and early Americana or Adirondack Antiques and Collectables.  All is related to the outdoor sporting use of firearms or the pursuit of those sports of hunting, fishing and trapping in the Adirondack Mountains.  It should be a wonderful show, a different show and a well-attended event.  We hope our fraternity of fine dealers in this type of merchandise will participate with exhibitor’s tables or booth space.  We would like to invite new exhibitors of quality goods to also take space at this show.

For the first Show we will have $1000 in prize money for educational displays by members and general exhibit displays by our dealers.  These will be listed in our mailing of flyers.  As shows progress we hope to increase the cash pot.  Unfortunately, I know there will be competition against this June show.   It is becoming very hard to plan on any weekend that doesn’t have conflicts.  I can only hope that you, as potential exhibitors, know our track record, know the type of buying public that attend our events and with that knowledge will want to come and join us in Saratoga.  We are sure it will become a premier yearly event.

We have a small 60-table show in the K of C building on Boynton Avenue in Plattsburgh at the end of April.  Set up is the 29th and the Show will be April 30 and May 1.  We had a fine little show last year, same time and place and we should repeat that fine event this year.  It is a great time for a North Country drive.  Bring your trout rod and flies.  By the way, ours is the ONLY show in Plattsburgh.

Again, something new and exciting from NEACA.  One of our dealer friends called me in February about a new facility they thought would be nice to check out for a new show.  Well, we did check it out and it is 99% positive as I write this that we do have a new show in the Schenectady, NY area.  Specifically, a group has leased and upgraded several large empty stores in the Crosstown Plaza Shopping Center, off Route 7 in Rotterdam and opened a facility named Crosstown Expo Center.  For those familiar with the area, it is opposite the large Home Depot near the intersection of Routes 5 and 7 and at Exit 7E of 890.

The Expo is very easy to get to from Exit 25 of the NYS Thruway or locally from Routes 146, 5 or 7. It sits in the middle of a population of 2 million people and with a parking lot for about a thousand cars.  Very easy level loading, well lighted and clean with about 40,000 square feet of open space.  We’ll have food available inside plus two restaurants on the lot.  Motels are within five miles.  We are planning on two shows this year, the first on July 29, 30 and 31 and the second in December.

The floor plan looks like we can accommodate 400 or more eight-foot tables with nice wide aisles.  There hasn’t been a show in the Schenectady area for about seven years.  This should prove to be the start of something grand.

The July date may sound familiar as the same weekend that New York State Arms Collectors was using for their summer show.   I have been assured that theirs in not planned for this year and told them I would only use that date because of them not holding their Albany Summer show at the Egg.  We would be extremely happy if the standard fare of Albany exhibitors would display with us in Rotterdam, about a dozen miles northwest.  We have no intention of running against their Albany winter show in January.

Speaking of New York State Arms, their new President, Tony Fidd and I had a pleasant conversation about the past and present. We have decided that mutual cooperation and “friendly atmosphere is again the way to proceed for an amicable future.  Tony as an exhibitor at our March Saratoga Arms Fair and Cathy and I will again exhibit at their Syracuse Show this April 15, 16 and 17 at the New York State Fairgrounds.  Life is short – time goes on.

April 1st is one of our member renewal quarters.  We would wish that those of you who had not renewed their NEACA membership at this past March show would do so now.  Check your member renewal date on your member card.  It is a lot easier and much more time efficient to renew with us on a timely basis than waiting for hours in line at our next show.  Happy hunting out there.


January 19, 2005

Members and Exhibitors,

I hope the New Year brings continued growth in our wallets and diminished stature in the posterior it rests upon.  Rather than the other way round if a certain John had to wake up each morning facing an uncertain Teresa in the White House boudoir.  Life is good after all.

I thought the new boy waiting in the wings was the next Gun Show savoir but I hear much displeasure from the rank and file.  Better than nothing means I guess I’d better dust off some old locations and revive a few shows.  Upstarts come and go like the seasons it seems.

Right to the point, in a month we will be at Lake George during their busy Winter Carnival again.  We are back at the Holiday Inn Turf, which makes a great location for our February Show, in their small convention center.  About 45 six-foot tables will be available for you exhibitors on Sunday, February 20th.  A flyer is enclosed.  Advertising starts today.

The following month is Saratoga on March 19 and 20 weekend and it will be another sell-out.  Always our best attended show and a moneymaker.  Flyer is also enclosed and I suggest your response for tables be immediate for those of you not already deposited.  Please note the upcoming dates for the year as there has been a change.

The month of April will find us back in Herkimer, New York on April 9 & 10 with Friday set-up.  This has always been a fine show for buying and I usually manage to sell pretty well also.  We only have room for about 50 eight-foot tables so first come first served.  The VFW treats us well with good food and available drink.  It is a gun company area now and for the last two hundred years with Savage of Utica and Remington in Illion.  Flyer is also enclosed.  Incidentally, don’t lose them – I’m not sending out another.

Again we’ll be in Plattsburgh at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Boynton Avenue.  About the same time as last year, the show will be on April 30 and May 1 with a Friday set-up this time.  We were full last year and had a real nice show.  Some great stuff walked in and I believe all the dealers did fine.  I’m sure it will sell out soon.  Flyer is also enclosed.

As usual, you all should know by now that I accept deposits for all these shows, you don’t have to send in the full amount for things four months down the line.  But I do like to know who is planning on coming so send in your application with a few bucks and pay the balances prior to two weeks of the show date.

We’ll see what we develop for June and beyond with a new mailing in April or so.  If you haven’t renewed your memberships I suggest sending it in so you can benefit from the reduced table costs.

Incidentally, Cathy has a few openings for new income tax preparation clients due to a few departed vacancies.  If you are paying an arm and leg for service rest easy that she only requires a normal fee and sends electronic returns also.  Twenty odd years experience and considerable help to a number of you dealers already should put her on top of your list for income tax preparers.  Don’t call on April 5th though – we are booked till the end.

Our NEACA.com website had 1,006,233 hits in December, first month we broke the million mark.  It has been doing quite well but I need more guns and stuff for my Hudson River Trading Company business on the site.  So, I’m going to accept consignments at 20% commission but the items have to be in my store where I can see and feel them.  I have buyers for fine guns and quality militaria.  Go to the site and have a look.  And I don’t discount from my prices.

Also, we are very close to getting our Arms Collectors Journal back in print and also on-line.  It may be ready by February 15 if all goes well.  On line subscriptions for $12.00 a year and first class mail at $24.00.  We also need advertisers.  Very similar format to the old Journal.

Lots of things going on this year so I hope you all stick around with memberships, take tables at our shows and check the website.  We’ve had our fraternity of individualists for over twenty years now and I hope we all make it another twenty.  Good hunting.

Cathy and Dave Petronis


September 27, 2001

Dear Members & Exhibitors,

Two weeks after the terrorist attacks my mind and my life are still not entirely normal, whatever normal was, and perhaps will never be again.  Life, ideas, ideals, will probably never be the same, at least for the generations that just went through September 11th in America.  But business goes on and I have to correspond and inform the members and the exhibitors who do our shows of what is happening in our future.

Our Saratoga Show was two weekends ago, just a few days after the attacks, and it went, I think, as well as could be expected.  At the time, with the low turnout of public, I was fairly shocked and disappointed.  Rumors of people just having to buy a gun and of all gun shows closed with ours being the only one open for the weekend, were generally untrue.  In fact some shows were closed, others were open; some people felt the need to come and buy a gun but the majority of people in general, felt like they wanted to stay home.  If you visited any stores in the last few days, people are still staying home.

Our advertising for the show was the same as we always do and one week prior over 3000 post cards were mailed to prior attendees around the Saratoga area so Cathy and I did the same job, or more, that we always have.  In fact after we found that the Syracuse Show was closed, we began accommodating a good number of dealers who found that they had no where to go.  I added tables to the show and changed my floor plan several times, which actually was work we really didn't need at such a late date, even though it meant a slightly larger show and additional income for the show.  After accommodating the extra dealers I then heard the disgruntled remarks wondering whether we advertised the show or not or that the Saratoga area must be saturated already and there are no buyers left.  This I did not appreciate.  

Let me set the record straight.  I personally had a great show and I rarely sell at my own show.  I know some dealers had a great show and I know others who did not.  That's the way it is at all shows.  But I do believe that life in general has and will change.  Whether it will be a lasting effect I don't know.  But September 11th has certainly made individuals reflect upon their values and what they consider important.  My reflections are no different, our shows are still important; it's the way we pay our bills and what we do.  But to make it plain to our members and exhibitors, we will still do our job as best we can, promoting, advertising, etc., but I must say I don't have the same views or feelings I had before.  I hope I've become more tolerant, and understanding, however, at the same time, I wonder whether what I do or what we do, is really still worth all our effort.

Our Saratoga show has become a very good show yet I constantly hear, whether in jest or as to be an irritant or even in what one person may believe a true statement, how I don't advertise or promote the show properly.  For those people I've got to say, "bull crap!"  All we do is advertise and promote Saratoga and whatever other shows we produce and what I get in return is snide remarks and the dealer who calls me three days before the show to see if I still have tables and "can I pay you when I get there," by check.

WE not only have a responsibility to the public and our exhibitors but the exhibitors should also know that they have a responsibility to the show that they are going to, to let the promoter know well in advance, and that their money that they should be sending in, is what's used for expenses and, you guessed it, advertising.  Consider how much time and effort you would put in when you have a hall full of tables, all your money out and spent and then getting your exhibitors calling you a week or so before the event to ask for space at the show.  This is no way to run a business.

As I said, things have changed.  Enclosed you will find our fliers for our next Saratoga show in November; following that our Fishkill, NY show a week later, and a month later, the New Hartford, NY Show near Utica, which we've rescheduled from our September date.  Fill them out, send in your money, do it now, don't lose the applications and don't call me after two weeks before the shows.  I either want support from you as exhibitors early or I probably won't accommodate at a late date.  We have a very nice core of New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates and faithful dealers who work as businessmen, never have a problem sending applications and deposits, who never have a problem wondering whether they got their flier, didn't leave their check book home, didn't forget their badges, didn't need to know if the show was still on, don't need a special invitation and even put our fliers up, advertise in the paper that they'll be in a show, recruit new m! embers or even given us displays or at least constant moral support, and when I say constant, we've been in this business since 1982.   And to you I say, "Thank you with all my heart."   To others who may not be as faithful but perhaps ignorant of that which they don't realize, I say, "things have changed."  If you wish to support us in our continuing endeavors to succeed in a very difficult business do so now.  Our dealer mailings number around 800 and after this mailing all who do not reply either with table applications, member applications, a call, note or e-mail as to why they should remain on our list, this will be your last mailing.

Even though we would like to have done more shows this year, our schedule simply didn't permit it.  However, we are looking at some different things for 2002.  Our Saratoga Shows will be in March, August and November, we'd like to see this New Hartford area develop and perhaps some of you would like to see some of our prior locations revisited, if so let me know.  We'll continue expanding our web site, perhaps offering dealer space as we are now getting about 20,000 hits a month to see it go to NEACA.com.   Thanks for your continued support and God Bless America.

Sincerely,

David Petronis

Other News ...

If you were planning on going to the Syracuse, NY Gun Show this weekend, Sept. 15 & 16, the same date as our own Saratoga Springs, NY Arms Fair, Don't make the drive ... Syracuse has been cancelled!! It seems that the State may need the facility for possible use in connection with the terrible catastrophe that was perpetrated on the citizens of New York City. It also was rumored that the date of the show, being so close in time to this past tragedy, may be better to reschedule to a different time in the future. Whatever the case our Show in Saratoga is still on.

Our Sept. Show in New Hartford, NY has been re-scheduled to December 14, 15, 16, 2001.


August 14, 2001

To NEACA Members and Exhibitors,

Perhaps the long, hot summer is finally coming to a close and relief from heat, humidity and little business is just a few weeks away in September.

have two shows upcoming next month, our Saratoga Springs City Center event is back again on the same September weekend when we started our first one nearly twenty years ago, September 14, 15, 16.  Also a new show in a new facility in an old area where we ran shows years ago, Utica, New York.  Rather, just west of Utica city line in New Hartford, on September 21, 22 & 23, a week after Saratoga.

First thing though, we are going back to our August date for Saratoga instead of July. What an error on my part!  I listened to the wrong people when I changed the date to try to get better hotel accommodations.  Forget about it!  Live with the high rates, the sold out rooms, the parking problems, and the traffic - that's what Saratoga Springs is in August!  I forgot why we started our shows in that time period - money, people and money!  Take the time soon to make reservations for the weekend of August 2, 3, 4, 2002 and plan to stay a day or two after the show and enjoy one of the busiest, grandiose and fun cities in the country.  And don't forget the thoroughbred track on Monday!

This September will be nearly as busy as August but a different crowd.  Residents will be back, school supplies paid for, antiquers out and about, cooler weather with the smell of the hunt in the air, and President Bush's tax refund checks in the mail!  A great time for a gun show.  You'll find your flyer enclosed.

For those of you wishing to display, cash awards are back for September.  Adhere to these criteria for consideration.  Must be a member; tell me at least two weeks in advance so I can get it in our press release; need a title or theme; tell a story or present a piece or grouping with some explanation of what it is all about; use full length table covers for best presentation.  That's it, fairly simple - display only, no sales from the table.  Any theme related to our sporting collector field, would be eligible for an award.

Speaking of membership - some of you use the bene's but don't pay the bill.  Timely renewal is $25.00, that's within 30 days after your date is up.  I see people showing the expired card and getting in free 'cause the guard isn't paying attention, but it's going to stop.  If your dues are due - check the mailing label or your card -- send a check today, $30.00 if over 30 days please.

On to better thoughts; Mohawk Valley Convention Center, New Hartford, NY - 250 8' tables are available, just like Saratoga. Easy entrance, lots of free parking, food on premises, carpeted floor, and good date - no other shows in the area.  Application also enclosed, send it in.  Special Ramada Hotel rate of $69 for their normal $103 room if you register by August 21, that's only a few days away!  Don't wait.  The info has been on our website www.NEACA.com for about 6 weeks now.  For those who are on the net make sure you check out our site often because it's ever changing.  Other motels are in the area but further away and nearly the same or more in price, and a busy area in September.  To the guys who ask me during Friday night set-up where they can get a good, cheap hotel - I don't know!

The Utica area has always been a good one for both buying and selling and we've been looking for a good place for a show for a while.  This is it, don't miss it and support our group to make this show and future shows a success.  Utica area has been home to Savage Arms, Remington Arms in Ilion, Parker and Browning also made there, Martin fly fishing reels, Utica Cutlery, Horrocks & Ibbotson bamboo rods and now wood for Ithaca and other gun companies are made in the area.  A lot of history in sporting manufacturing as well as our American Historic battle sites and campaigns.  You never know what can turn up to buy and the area definitely has hunters and sportsmen.  Send your application in today - make motel reservations!!

Also enclosed is our Fishkill, NY flyer.  This will be our third show there at the Holiday Inn on Route 9,  just off  I-84.  The second, 2 day show.  There is no Friday set-up, early Saturday AM, see the flyer.  Lots of interest and with this mailing we should probably sell out soon so if you want tables, at least send me an application and some sort of deposit.     Again, make your motel reservations early - the area is always busy.  The show is only an hour north of NY City and there really are no more shows in the area.  I can only get one weekend a year - the place is booked constantly far in advance.  The show is just before hunting season but the area buyers are busy and procrastinators - sounds like some of us -- and buy on the spur of the moment.  Was a good show last year - should be a better show this November 17 & 18.

Saratoga, again on November 9, 10, 11 - a week before our Fishkill Show - will round out our schedule for this year.  New areas and opportunities are always under investigation for a show.  A member led us to the new facility in New Hartford, perhaps one of you know of some place that might be suitable to look into.  If so, let us know.  Till we see you in September, good hunting!


June, 17, 2001

Dear Members & Exhibitors,

I hope this letter finds all of you in good, physical health because I know the business health of the shops surely isn't that grand.  If you aren't out there doing a show, you're probably out there doing no business.  At least that's the consensus I get talking to other shop owners.

Cathy and I have literally thousands of dollars out in deposits for show locations, which in essence is cash you can't use.  With that in mind, enclosed are fliers for future shows and future dates and as you look them over, remember that we do take deposits on the shows, not needing full payment until two weeks prior.  We would rather know that you're coming and have your  application and deposit than have you call a week before the show to find out if we have tables because you didn't want to send the full amount.  I'd rather spend my time on promotion and advertising than having to wonder whether the show will be filled with dealers.

Most of you should know by now that our summer show in Saratoga Springs, NY, which has been in August, has been changed to July 13, 14 & 15 weekend, fliers enclosed.  You probably also know that Saratoga is one of the only summer shows that draws a good public and buyers.  The majority of our core dealers have sent in deposits but we could use new exhibitors to keep the show fresh.  If you haven't sent in your application please do so and if you have a friend out there, perhaps you can convince them to take a table or two. As usual, please find a prominent spot around your area to post our flier.

We always like to have some kind of show going on in the Adirondack North Country and we've had quite a few locations through the years.  We found a nice spot, thanks to one of our members, at the Fire and Rescue Building in Crown Point, NY.  Only room for about 30 tables, which, as of this writing are nearly sold out just by word of mouth.  The show is about equal distance of  7 miles to the Crown Point Bridge to Vermont or Ticonderoga, which is on  Route 9N, also Main Street in Crown Point.  We picked the August 4th and 5th weekend so we would also be in the tourist season as well as a good hunting and gun ownership area.  We still have a few tables so if you want them, call me.

This year we are back in Saratoga at our original time period of  years ago on September 14, 15, 16.  Unfortunately there are a lot of other shows scheduled on that date but our Saratoga Shows have always held their own and we get the exhibitors and the public.  By this show date we will have mailed approximately 15,000 show announcement post cards to prior Saratoga attendees.  This show and its advertisements will give a boost to our next, new event described below.

The second gun show we ever promoted was at the Utica War Memorial Auditorium in 1982, which turned out pretty darn good.  Since then we've had other Utica Shows, also in Clinton, Fonda, Fulton, Syracuse and Herkimer, all of which have generated over 5,000 show attendee names for our computer data base so there certainly are people in that area interested in gun shows and we've also done good business ourselves at these shows.      Well, another member told us about a new facility that the Utica Area Chamber of  Commerce has just developed.  On September 21, 22, 23 we're sponsoring a show at the Mohawk Valley Convention Center, a 20,000 square foot, carpeted facility in New Hartford, NY at 32 Campion Road.  The facility is easy to get to, easy to get in, plenty of free parking, good lighting, full restaurant on premises, in a historic gun manufacturing area, plenty of people who own and use firearms and the date is just weeks before hunting season.  You as exhibitors and dealers should be there.  A flier is enclosed.

The Utica area in the summer and early fall, is very busy and the hotel rates are going to be high and rooms scarce.  With this writing you have the opportunity now until August 20th to take advantage of a special rate at the Ramada Inn in New Hartford at $69 instead of $103 per night, which for the time and the area and the hotel, is a great rate; take advantage of it now.  The Ramada phone number is 315-735-3392, request the NEACA rate for the gun show.  The Ramada is less than ½ mile from the show, has a lovely restaurant and a good lounge with entertainment on the weekends.  There's also a large shopping center near the Convention Center.  We'll probably schedule this show twice a year and we hope that you will support this area and this show.

Cathy and I were going over our records from the early 80's and couldn't believe the amount of friends and members we have lost through death, moving from the area or just plain going out of business.  Our membership numbers are over 1000 at the moment and we have developed a system where you get 12 full months of benefits after your first year of initial membership in NEACA; see our membership application enclosed so we don't need to go into all the details.  But we have decided to have a membership drive so you exhibitors can save money.  If you notice on the show applications there is generally a $10 difference between member and non-member table rate.  You'll also notice that to receive the discount you have to be a member for 90 days.  

Regards,

Dave Petronis


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