This year's Tucson gem shows generated $120M

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Tucson officials say the hidden treasure from this year's gem shows has been the amount of revenue.

City tourism officials say a new economic impact study released last week of this year's Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase shows $120 million in spending was generated.

According to Visit Tucson, that is 20 percent more than in 2007.

The two-week showcase, which runs in January and February, draws thousands of visitors to more than 40 sites in the region. Typically, dozens of individual gem shows take place at hotels, resorts and exhibit halls.

The report indicates the bulk of spending came from show owners, exhibitors and buyers.

The study was conducted by FMR Associates in Tucson. The company has done the same study in 2000 and 2007.