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 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.          


Dave Petronis