April 16, 2017

NEACA Members and Exhibitors,

Happy Easter to all of you – as Christians we believe the Savior has risen and He will save our souls for all eternity – that is, if you are righteous and deserving of salvation, as I hope we all are. Then we commemorate this observance with a feast to conclude our forty days of fasting. Our Jewish friends observe this same week as Passover when the Israelites were freed from Egyptian slavery while plagues and death passed over those enslaved. There is also a convergence of Orthodox Christians celebrating Easter this same week, it seems like the moon and stars have lined up nicely for this Heavenly time.

Cathy and I celebrate the Rising of Jesus but also the coming back of greatness in America. I feel our country is really awakening again – appropriate for this Holy time of renewal – and this time of Spring and of new beginnings. I believe there is a genuine sense of resurgence in our lives, for me, in our business and I hope for all of you, in your personal future. A couple of millennia ago there was this miracle of renewal – and I am not comparing, but – a couple of months ago Donald Trump pledged to renew this country and make America great again! I believe he will and we have a really good start. I also think our full NEACA show schedule will reflect on how Cathy and I feel about going forward and out of the abyss.

By the time this letter gets back from my printer you will be seeing this at the April Syracuse show. The reverse of our NEACA schedule has our membership application and we hope you will take advantage of its’ benefits – especially the table price reduction for Members. For those who do not generally set up tables but come to our shows, also note that we allow NEACA Members in early on Friday (between 4 – 8 PM) during set up and a half hour early Saturday and Sunday. Show entry is free to current members at all our shows for 12 full months, after joining in one of our initial quarters of January, April, July or October. Join our over 1600 member list in April, your renewal will be April 1, 2018 and your first free show can be at the Riley Rink in Manchester Center, VT. Fill out application and send it in or see us in Syracuse at tables B 21 – 23.

Speaking of Manchester we still have tables available but this is the best dealer turnout so far; we have room for 250 8’ tables and the public is enthusiastic. We lost about 30 tables to a competing NYS show on the same date but still found new exhibitors. Those who miss this show this coming weekend on April 29 & 30 can come again on July 15 & 16; see our flier.

Cathy and I have worked out most of our 2017 schedule and started on 2018. We have some new shows and will work hard to make them great. Just so you know, we do send out our fliers and a letter to over 600 dealers plus our members at least four times a year. We also send out thousands of post cards before our shows and include mention of our other upcoming shows in the mailing area. We have over 35,000 current names on our list and Cathy is now updating those with email accounts where we can contact those people for every show – working on over 2,000 now. All of this takes a lot of time but we think social media and direct mail seem to be the most effective with advertising. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of older A type personalities who have not come with us into the computer age and 21st century. They need snail mail, news print media (which they don’t subscribe to) or radio and TV, all of which we do still use.

After Manchester this coming weekend we travel to Allentown, PA for their Mothers’ Day show and work on promoting our Newburgh show at Ice Time Arena on May 20, 21; then go back-to-back the following week with our next Saratoga Springs Arms Fair at the City Center on Memorial Day weekend, May 27, 28. Both are good shows but Saratoga is special to us. The Ice Time Sports Complex is a very nice venue with 225 table capacity. As usual, folks don’t call or send apps till the last minute so we still have tables available – see flier for details or check NEACA.com and our Gun Show page. We draw from a huge area because of the cross roads of Routes 84 and the NYS Thruway – NYC to Albany and CT to PA.

Been working hard on Saratoga so we can get back with several shows a year – our normal Jan., March, Aug., Oct., have been, to say the least, somewhat upset by political correctness. The new director seems to be working with us to secure future dates. This Memorial weekend Arms Fair will be a full event even with a few dealer losses because of the holiday; tables are still available. We would like this show to be a tribute to our US Armed Forces and are seeking and will have, military displays. The USMC Color Guard will open the show on Saturday and dignitaries will be present. This will be one our best attended shows and be well advertised. We just agreed to use Labor Day weekend September 2, 3 for the next Saratoga Springs Arms Fair. After taking a dealer poll a great majority of our core exhibitors have committed to that show. We thank you all very much. I know the membership is seeking more shows at the City Center and I am now securing what we can and hopefully we will get back on track in Saratoga in the future. For now let’s fill up the City Center with exhibitors and fill the city streets with our supporters. Let us show the political meddlers what their businesses have been missing!

A few other important notes; the rear section of their Exhibition Hall roof at the Chenango County Fair Grounds in Norwich, NY has collapsed due to the heavy snow this winter. Rather than not having a show in Central New York area on that scheduled date of June 3, 4 we opted to move the location to our old stomping grounds of the Clinton Arena in Clinton, NY, about 10 miles south of Utica via Routes 5S and 12B. There is room for about 175 tables and our flier is enclosed on the reverse of our Norwich cancellation. We will have to see what the Fairgrounds will do; we really like the area and the show. Please send in your Clinton application ASAP so we may secure tables during a busy time period – June 3, 4.

A week later, June 10, 11 we have our traditional Kiwanis Ice Arena Arms Fair in Saugerties, NY; very easy to get to from Exit 20 of the NYS Thruway. The Country Fest on Hunter Mountain is the same weekend so perhaps we’ll get some of the country singers again like we’ve had before. Always exciting, but get your motel early. Another NEW show, Rutland, VT at the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Royce Arena; room for 225 tables, plenty of free parking right off Rt.7. The flier will be available on-line soon; easy to get to and level loading. Mid-July sees us back in Vermont at the Riley Rink in Manchester Center July 15, 16, get your motel reservations early, try Chalet Motel at 802-362-1622; same as for next weekends’ show.

Again, another new show, last W/E in July on the 29th and 30th at the newly remodeled Municipal Arena in Alex Duffy Fairgrounds, City of Watertown, NY. They have 30,000 sf. of space and they really want us there. We hope you will help make this into a great 250 table show about an hour north of Syracuse. The fliers are ready for you and so is easy access to the show right off Exit 46 of I -81 to Coffeen Street and to the fairgrounds. We invite all of our troops stationed at Fort Drum to come in FREE as our tribute to their service. We hope to make this another great Adirondack event. Vacation for a week while in the mountains and end up the next weekend at our show in Old Forge at the Hiltebrant Rec Center on August 5, 6, always a nice time in a clean and quiet tourist area among the vast array of lakes and mountain trails. We do enjoy our show there and believe any new-comer will also – fill out our application and enjoy seeing the wild deer walking the village streets!

We finish off August with our semi-annual show at the Ice Time Arena in Newburgh on August 26, 27. The summer will be coming to an end but first we need to give it that last hurrah at the City Center in Saratoga Springs on Labor Day weekend, September 2, 3. We are back with our 250 tables of great exhibitors and about 3000 of our loyal supporters for the final summer fling. Make your plans early; the last weekend of thoroughbred racing at the finest race track in the country will bring another 50,000 visitors. If Cathy and I were younger it would be party time – Guns and Horses! We plan to shorten the closing time on Sunday because of the holiday weekend; perhaps we will party after all.

We have much more to write about but, it is Easter and we still have that dinner to enjoy. We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and got yourself in the mood to go forward and spring into action doing what you want and love to do. We hope you also include our shows in your future and also join NEACA.

Thank you all, Cathy & Dave.