April 11, 2013

Dear Members & Exhibitors,

Our March show at the Saratoga Springs City Center was back to typical, which usually was looked upon as pretty darn good, but comparing it to the phenomenal show we had in January, March was a little over half. January was the "perfect storm" show as I heard from several vendors; now we are back to normal.

Well, business actually, is pretty far from normal; dealers are still looking for more gun inventory and ammo is getting very scarce, and expensive. I really can’t believe what I am selling .22 ammunition for, it is insane! The thing is, if I sell ammo cheaper, the buyer becomes the re-seller and gets a middle-man status; a new dealer without a license. I am still pretty well stocked with guns and ammo but even my shelves are starting to become bare.

My advice to all is to buy used guns and even antiques; they may end up to be sleepers in this "new" New York economy. Our Saratoga County Sheriff has received permission to hire a new clerk for pistol permit processing because of the back log – August of 2014 is now the target date for completing new applicants; again, insane! Everybody seems to either want a gun or at least, another gun – and, of course, ammo is being hoarded and even surplus ammo cans are getting more expensive and harder to find. Business for us gun guys is pretty good but remember, taxes are up, oil and gas are still high, take-home pay is less and the economy still sucks. The gun boom will last but I personally believe the overall recession is still here. Those bulls on Wall Street will eventually drop their shit on the real folks below; I say prepare yourself while you can, the shit will hit the fan.

But, all the gun shows seem to be strong or at least holding their own. Analyzing our year to year shows we find attendance is well up but costs are rising too. A lot of solid shows have been cancelled because the venues have rescinded contracts and there might just be a trend here you just don’t like. All of my locations are rock-solid and pro-gun, but you see what happened at the SportsPlex of Halfmoon. Even after "they reached out first" for a gun show promoter some years ago, they now don’t want involvement with gun shows. So, things can change at any time. I, personally, would not want to be in a position of needing a contract for State owned property.

However, we have moved our Clifton Park "cancelled" Arms Fair to where we are wanted, to the Forum in Lake George. This is a modern facility, drive-in capability for unloading, can fit over 300 tables and is well lighted. They have heat and AC plus a restaurant, bar and lounge – they also own a small motel next door and there are many others in Lake George, several motels across the street. If you want to stay in their typical Mom and Pop Motel, the Villager, call the Forum at 518-668-2200 for a double room at $59.00 and be able to walk to the show!

The Super 8, again just across the street, walk-able, has offered our NEACA Arms Fair dealers a rate of $71 standard or $74 for a king room; 518-668-2470. The Holiday Inn, where we hold our Winter Carnival Gun Show, has a rate of $99, plus they have suites for more, 518-668-5781. Most of Lake George comes alive for this show weekend of May 17, 18 & 19; this being the same weekend we had scheduled for Clifton Park. It is also a Canadian weekend holiday and many Canadians flock to Lake George; Memorial Day is the following weekend. We also have a pdf of other motels and rates on our Gun Show pages at NEACA.com.

The Lake George Forum show application is enclosed, and I urge you to support this event, and send it in as soon as possible. The people who attend our shows are loyal supporters and will come to the Forum. We do have new exhibitors but we have lost others this past year; Cathy and I hope each of you will seek a new exhibitor to come to all of our events. Believe me, this show business isn’t getting any easier; we need your help to keep our shows full and vibrant.

So, May is for the Forum in Lake George and June 7, 8 & 9, is for the AUD in Utica. Most of you have been asking us about this show and now we have it – same time as last year – so, again, we urge you to support this show. The AUD Director and staff are all gun rights supporters and do what they can for us – send your enclosed application in as soon as possible. Remember, sign the reverse! We do have a special room rate at the Hotel Utica, again with free breakfast, large rooms as you know, for $94. They went up by $5 over the past years. This most certainly is a beautiful hotel with some new management and we do stay there, call early, 315-223-4146.

We do not have anything in July; if, any of you think we should?? But we are back at Old Forge Rec. Center on August 3 & 4 and Saratoga for our annual Racing Season Arms Fair on August 24, 25 & 26. As you know, motels are expensive and fill up fast, so make your reservations for those weekends as soon as possible. If we can secure any specials, you can always change motels. We highly doubt there will be any August deals, "Saratoga is always the place to be," for everyone, it seems. Let us know you’re coming, send in your application. We are in process of other scheduling.

As I write this, the Senate is debating new gun regulations, specifically; all gun shows will require background checks, among other new things. Let us remember in November who supports us today; and don’t forget your School Board in May. Ask your candidates what their position is on "no tolerance" rules on guns and pictures; or whether they would support bringing back "gun safety programs" to schools or even shooting teams for the "geeks and loners" who are smart kids but not interested in being a jock on the football team. Our laws and governance, usually starts locally, in our home towns; the "grass roots" spread to counties and the State, but begin at home. Yes, most politics is local but ends up in the US Senate. Let’s watch the news coming from Washington, DC that may well change the way we do business and how we enjoy our Freedom. Watch who supports the Second Amendment and remember that outcome for the future.

Please support us and our shows now, send in those applications, and be sure you and your friends are registered to vote. Let us hope we can continue being Americans as Americans. God helps those who help themselves.

Sincerely, Cathy & Dave