May 1, 2005

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

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.