Jan 31, 2014 8:31 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Tucson celebrates gem show start

TUCSON - Gem shows have started all over town.

Paul Harter has been involved in the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show for 40 years. It is the biggest show open to the public. He is sure people will find his event at the Tucson Convention Center later in February, but said it will be even easier next year with the streetcar.

"Any time you're riding on public transportation, whether it's a light rail, or a trolley car, or a streetcar, and you have these designated stops, there's always a designated stop at the major locations," Harter said.

He said he likes the recent improvements at the Convention Center and is thankful for the space.

"The TCC has done a great job the last 2 or 3 years at upgrading the facility," Harter said. "And they're committed to future upgrades, so we know that the facility will continue to get better and better."

City Manager Richard Miranda said his staff has worked hard to make sure the gem shows are successful for years to come.

"They deal with parking. They deal with shuttles. They deal with hospitality at the TCC," Miranda said. "We start talking about expansion. We start talking about hospitality and logistics and making sure that their stay is as best as possible"

The main wholesale show, not open to the public, starts at the TCC Tuesday. Other shows along the freeway and throughout town are already open.

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