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It’s AGTA, not TGMS that’s unhappy with TCC

In a blog post last week, which also ran in the Arizona Daily Star today, I said the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society was unhappy with the city and the progress (or lack of it) in renovations to the Tucson Convention Center, but I got my shows wrong.

It’s the American Gem Trade Association, which has a huge wholesale show at the TCC the week before the TGMS main show at the TCC, that’s unhappy and talking about moving.

Big mistake, but it doesn’t necessarily change the premise of my argument, which is that politicians and others have been saying Tucson “could lose the gem show” if improvements aren’t made to the TCC. That leads people to think the whole shebang, all 40 some shows including the TGMS main show, might leave. And that’s just not going to happen.

But I should have correctly stated who’s unhappy. Mea Culpa.

It’s a further example at just how complicated this amalgamation of shows has become. Perhaps we should train ourselves to call it the Tucson Gem Shows, with emphasis on the plural. (Others have tried to create a name to offset “Tucson Gem Show” and demonstrate how big it is, but  “Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase” has never really caught on, it’s too long).

Below is the text of an e-mail I got from the MTCVB, correcting my post.

Hi Mark,

I just read your blog post on the Gem Show.  I am especially impressed with the accuracy and discussion of the number of shows in Tucson.  Unfortunately, many Tucsonans still think that the “Gem Show” is one single show at the TCC when the Gem, Fossil & Mineral Showcase is, as you’ve pointed out, 44 shows in 42 locations around the city. We at the MTCVB certainly agree with you and support the idea that Tucson must be supportive of this event in every way to make attendees feel welcome and appreciated in our city.

I do believe that there is a misunderstanding on which show organizers are voicing concerns about Tucson’s Convention Center space and downtown offerings.  You state that the TGMS show (Tucson Gem & Mineral Society show Feb 11-14) organizers are unhappy with the TCC. To our knowledge, the AGTA Gem fair, the wholesale show (Feb 2-7) owners/representatives have been most vocal about issues with the TCC.

I have personally spoken with members of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society, the group that began the Gem Shows 52 years ago, and they have stated that they don’t plan on ever moving the TGMS show from Tucson.

The TGMS and AGTA shows are the two largest shows of the showcase and both at the Convention Center.  Perhaps this fact has caused some confusion.

I hope to help clear up any misunderstandings that may have existed about the gem shows.  Please also know that if your readers need one place to go for information on the entire showcase, they can visit www.visittcson.org/gemshow <http://www.visittcson.org/gemshow> or call our Information line at 800-638-8350.

Thank you for taking the time to make corrections and clarifications.

Kimberly Schmitz
Director of Communications & PR
Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau
100 S. Church Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701
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