TUCSON - The Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase might not kick off for another month, but signs of the impending event are popping up around town. And officials say the 2018 show will be a big one.
“Next year's show is looking better than ever. We have more shows than last year with 46 shows this year,” said Dan Gibson of Visit Tucson. “It definitely makes Tucson the place to be for a while.”
Tents are currently going up, but behind-the-scenes prep has been happening for a while.
“It’s making sure that people who want to come here have what they need, permit wise, to the health department,” said Gibson. “It takes all year to put together a two week event.”
Officials put together a report on the show’s economic impact every seven years. The last report came out in 2014, and estimated the impact to be around 120 million dollars.
“That's a little over ten million dollars in tax revenue,” explained Gibson. “But back then, there were only 40 shows. So it does stand to reason that the impact now is even larger.”
More shows mean more traffic for local vendors like Norcross-Madagascar.
“Every year, it seems like another show is coming out the woodwork,” said the company’s operational manager, Carolyn Cary. “Having the show be central and a lot more vendors here is allowing a lot more people to shop.”
The show accounts for one-third of the company’s annual business. Cary said they saw a slight slump in show business a few years ago, but recent shows have been getting stronger every year.
“From what we're seeing with pre-orders, and people calling interested in it and wanting to shop, it seems like we're going to have another really good year again,” she said.
The first show of the event is expected to start on January 19th. For more information on the show, click here.