Vendors cautiously optimistic as Tucson gem show ready to open

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- It's the beginning of the year and another Gem and Mineral show is about to kick off, but with Arizona in national headlines, many are wondering what kind of crowds will show up.

In just a few hours, the gem and mineral show will kick off another season in Tucson.

"We're not real certain what to expect.  Shows have been down this year," said vendor  Kathy Sullivan from Lilac Valley Traders.

The vendors are showing up this year, but they're wondering if buyers will follow

"The show is a lot larger than it ever has been, more new vendors coming in and it brings in more people," said vendor Judy Morton from Judy's Crystals & Things.

"Vendors are pretty much internal optimists, we don't have a choice this is what we do for a living. It's either this or go on the starving line," said Sullivan.

The two ladies come from different parts of the country to sell their merchandise.

They've seen the headlines Tucson has made the last couple of weeks and they don't think it will effect this years show.

"It's a freak thing it's not something that's happening every week," said Sullivan.  "I don't think it's gonna stop anyone from coming here"

"I don't think it's gonna bother anyone. They come out here for the show, it's an annual event," said Morton.  "I think they've had their plans made, way in advance and they're not gonna cancel."

Thursday they finished setting up, hoping Friday not only brings the crowds, but also the money.

"What I see is that it's going to get better but it quite hasn't hit that niche," said Sullivan

"We gotta hope for the best, I mean you gotta keep going," said Morton.

The Gem and Mineral show kicks off Saturday,  and if you're looking to use the shuttle service that the show has had for years to get around, you're out of the luck due to lack of funding, that program has been scrapped.